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^am^outiB! tottft mp (^itfe. 






OR 



"Sl^aiasf about anpt^ing:/ 



BY 

LADY BAKER 

(Amy Marryat), 

author of * friendly words for our girls,' 
* lavs for the little ones,' etc. 



LONDON: 

HATCHARDS, PICCADILLY. 

1879. 



LONDON: 

Printed by John Strangswavs, 

Castle St. Leicester Sq. 



INTRODUCTION. 



Ts the hope that these records of * Half-hours ' spent 
'with my girls' in 'talks about any thing' that 
came uppermost, may serve as hints for similar 
half-hours, they are affectionately dedicated to the 
Associates and Members of the Girls' Friendly 
Society. 

AMY BAKER. 
Ranston, 1878. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. 

I. THE GIRLS 
II. ON SELFISHNESS 

III. ON AN OBJECT IN LIFE 

IV. ON SHAMEFACEDNESS . 
V. ON HEALTH 

VI. * ON ODD JOBS ' 
VII. ON MARRIAGE . 
VIII. ON TRUSTWORTHINESS 
IX. ON CHARACTER 
X. ON DUTY TO PARENTS 
XI. ON SERVICE 
XII. ON GOING HOME 
XIII. ON SWEETHEARTS 
XIV. ON SELF-RESPECT 
XV. ON DRESS 



PAGE 
I 

6 

15 

20 

28 

yj 

45 

54 
62 

69 

n 
84 
92 

99 
108 



Contents. 



CHAP. PAGE 


XVI. ON TRUTHFULNESS . 








. ii6 


XVII. ON FORGETFULNESS . 








■ 124 


XVIII. ON HONESTY . 








■ 131 


XIX. ON CHRISTIAN NAMES 








. 138 


XX. ON QUARRELLING . 








146 


XXI. ON SICKNESS . 








. 152 


XXII. ON EXAMPLE . 








1*60 


XXIII. ON LE'lTER-WRITING 








. 167 


XXIV. ON REVERENCE 








' 175 


XXV. ON HAPPINESS 








183 


XXVI. ON DEATH . 








. 191 


XXVII. ON THE MEANS OF GRACE . 








> 197 


CONCLUSION . 






4 


204 



HALF-HOURS WITH MY GIRLS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE GIRLS. 

* Kitty/ said Mrs. Wykeham to the scullery-maid 
one morning as she passed through the kitchen on 
her way to the store-room, * now that there are four of 
you girls in the house, and there will soon be a fifth from 
the laundry, I think we might have half-an-hour's 
chat together on Sunday afternoons, for I scarcely 
seem to see you now on week-days ; you are all so 
busy. I will arrange with Mrs. Stone to spare you 
from half-past three to four, or a little later ; and you 
may all come to my room at that time next Sunday.' 

Kitty wondered, as Mrs. Wykeham left her to 
speak to the housekeeper what the Sunday talks 
would be like. *Mrs. Wykeham will have all the 
talking to herself then,' she thought ; * Tm sure I shan't 
know what to talk about, and I don't believe the 
others will. It's different when we're by ourselves.' 

At the time appointed, next Sunday, Mrs. Wyke- 

I. 



Jlalf^i^outi^ iayii^ mo &ivU. 



ham was sitting in her bedroom with some papers 
before her, when the girls entered. 

A pleasant room it was, and years afterwards the 
girls would remember how it used to look on those 
Sunday afternoons. It was a long, low room, where 
the sun shone brightly through the three windows 
upon crimson carpet and pictured walls. It was just 
what a mother's room should be, — full of little nooks 
and corners where your eye rested, now to look at a 
coloured text, and now at the children's pictures 
hanging on the walls. You wondered where the good- 
conduct medal came from, what was the history of 
that model of a baby's hand ; and you felt sure that 
everything hung in each of those panels were treasures 
of some kind or other. Then there were low, wide 
window-sills that looked just the place to invite you 
to come and have a chat ; and as you sat in them 
you looked down upon the garden below with the 
great cedar-tree ; .and away past the water and 
the meadow to the sunny, sheltered hill-side beyond, 
where the old elms shed their sloping shadows on 
the grass. 

Very sunny and quiet it looked that Sunday 
afternoon, and the girls thought it wasn't by any 
means a bad place to spend a half-hour in, provided 
they might only be allowed to listen and hold their 
'tongues. 

*Come in !' said Mrs. Wykeham, as they stood at 
the door as if half afraid to enter. 

Kitty, whom we have already seen in the kitchen, 
came first, — fat, rosy, and full of fun. Do what you 



Ci^e 6trb. 3 

would, you couldn't help laughing at Kitty ; there was 
always such a twinkle in her eye, — such funny little 
dimples in her roguish face ; and look as solemn as 
ever she. could, still, 'Anyone could see,' as her old 
grandmother used to say, *she was made of mis- 
chief.' 

Next came Rhoda, the under-housemaid, a tall 
girl, with very black hair and eyes, and a quiet, 
determined manner. As you looked at her, you felt 
somehow pretty sure that it wouldn't be easy to get 
her to take to your way of doing things, if it didn't 
happen to suit with her own. 

Then there was01ive,the nursery-maid,with her pale 
face and great,soft brown eyes,like a deer's. Mrs.Wyke- 
ham used to say her mother must have known she was 
going to be so silent, and called her Olive, because it 
made one think of peace. She was a great favourite with 
her mistress, who, knowing she was not strong, used to 
take great care of her. Many a time she would lift 
the heavy baby out of her arms, saying, *He must not 
be carried about now, he can use his own lazy legs.' 
Many a time was Master Charlie perched up on the 
high chest of drawers, where he had to stay till he 
was lifted down, as a punishment for making Olive 
carry him about pick-a-back ; for Olive, silent as she 
was, would do anything to please or amuse the 
children. Ah ! there came a day when they wished 
Olive back again with them, * and we wouldn't tease 
her for ever so,' they said, — but, then, it was too 
late. 

Jane came last. Jane always did come last, some- 



l^alVt^ovLxi tottfi nto &ixU. 



how, but whether from her slowness or her humility, 
no one ever quite knew. And yet she was the eldest 
of them all and the kitchen-maid, — but then, as saucy 
Kitty said, * Jane was so slow/ 

* Ah ! but who won the race — ^the tortoise or the 
hare ?' Mrs. Wykeham had answered one day, when 
she had overheard this often-repeated remark ; and, 
true enough it was that Jane, working away slowly, 
yet steadily, * never stopping,' as Kitty used to say, 
* to have a bit of fun,' got through her work much 
quicker than the latter. Perhaps if Kitty had con- 
fessed the truth, she would have said that Jane often 
helped her to finish up into the bargain. 

* Now, girls,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * sit yourselves 
down in the window-sill, and I will draw my chair 
here into the comer, and we'll have our first chat. 

* Now, I am not going to be like an old French 
lady I once read of, who, when showing off a young 
friend of hers, of whose wit and cleverness she was 
very proud, said, as she introduced her to a circle of 
listening acquaintances, ** Now, Mademoiselle, you 
shall talk a little on this subject, then we shall pass 
on to that." Thus admonished,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 
*it wasn't much wonder that the poor young lady 
blushed up to her eyes, and could not find a single 
word to say. I propose, therefore, that every Sunday 
we should choose a subject for our next Sunday's talk; 
and that, in the week between, you should think it 
over and find out what you want to know about it, 
and anything that you do already know. But for to- 
day, as you haven't had any time to choose what to 



talk about, I am going to read you a little paper I 
wrote long ago, on some thoughts that passed through 
my mind about selfishness ; and I will call the text of 
our sermon for to-day, " Dear Me." * 

At the idea of a sermon upon * Dear Me,' the girls, 
laughing, drew together in the window-seats, and set 
themselves to listen with open ears. 



CHAPTER 11. 

ON SELFISHNESS. 

Not very long ago (began Mrs. Wykeham) as I was 
reading a book of stories, I came upon an anecdote of 
a little girl, only a year or two old, who used always to 
call herself * Dear Me.' When she wanted anything it 
was, 'Give it to dear Me ;' or, *Dear Me wants her sup- 
per.' Now, as the book went on to say we are all 
more or less like that little girl, for though we do 
not actually say so, yet we think of ourselves as 
'dear Me.' 

Just consider what a common expression it is, this 
of * dear me.' Why it slips out of our mouths half-a- 
dozen times a-day. * Dear me ! ' we exclaim, * the 
kettle's boiled over ; ' as we run to the fire to take it 
off, * Dear me, how that child does grow! ' we say as 
we measure little frocks and petticoats, setting to work 
and let down a tuck here, and alter a hem there. 

It is often interesting to try and find out where 
these common expressions come from. Where do 
you suppose this came from ? I don't think you would 
ever guess. It used to be, not *dear me,' but *dear 
Mary.' 

I can tell you how the expression, *dear Mary' 



®n iitlBfit^ntii. 



came into common use ; but how it got changed into 
* dear me/ I can only leave you to g^ess. At one 
time, as perhaps you know, English people were 
mostly Roman Catholics, like the French and Italians 
are now-a-days. They obeyed the Pope of Rome, and 
believed all that the priests taught them ; among 
other things, the worship of the Virgin Mary ; not 
content with honouring her as the Mother of our 
Lord, — not content with calling her blessed among 
women, as the Bible itself does, and as we all ought 
to do, they used to pray to her and ask her to inter- 
cede for them with God, giving her the honour which 
belongeth to Him only. They used to look upon her 
as their best friend in heaven, forgetting that Jesus 
Christ Himself is our only true Friend, and that she 
had no power to save them : even little children were 
taught to lisp her name, and thus it was that the 
expression * dear Mary ' came to be on everyone's lips. 
This was how the saying began. 

As I told you before, you and I can only guess 
how it grew into *dear me.' Has it arisen out of 
our very selfishness? Are we so fond of ourselves that 
we must needs invent, like the little girl, a pet name, 
as it were, to call ourselves by ; and as we are too old 
to use it openly, keep it to use on the sly. Let us 
hope not ; but of one thing we may be sure ; that in 
the heart of the very best of us lies the seed of this 
sin, which, if we do not watch against it, may spring 
up and choke all the good within us. 

I remember hearing a sermon once on this sin of 
selfishness : and there was one part of it I never 



8 f^altf^ontH MOf mv &ixU. 

forgot. The clergyman was talking about this * dear 
Me/ this * self/ that we are speaking of. 

* You can make (he said) as much or as little of 
yourself as you like ; you can make so little of your- 
self that you can have eyes for others rather than 
yourself, or you can make so much of yourself that 
you can see no one else. Supposing I go and stand 
on the top of a high mountain. I can look across the 
valley to hills and mountains beyond ; I can see green 
fields below, and snowy peaks above. I can see the 
blue sky over all — a whole world of beauty is spread 
out before my eyes. Suppose, then, that I lift my 
hand and hold it up at arm's length, before me ; that 
hand of mine — small as it is in comparison to what 
I see — ^will shut out the sight of half a mountain. I 
hold it nearer, and it hides a piece of the sky as well ; 
nearer again, and the fields and valley are hidden ; 
till I put it close up against my eyes, and the whole 
of the beautiful view before me is shut out, and by 
what ? — ^by my own hand. Ah, my friends,' said the 
clergyman, 'self is just like that hand of mine, the 
nearer and dearer it is to us, the more it shuts out 
other people, and, what is sadder still, the more it 
shuts out God.' 

Now this very thing had happened to a man I was 
reading about the other day. He was very rich, had 
more money than he could use for himself, or indeed 
than he knew what to do with. He came once to a 
clergyman. * Sir/ said he, * I am a very rich man, and 
a very benevolent man. I should like to give away 
some of my money, for I have more than I can use ; 



&n ^Afiii^ntiii. 



but, to tell the truth, I cannot see anyone in want 
of it' 

Self had grown so near and dear to him, you see, 
had grown so large that it had shut out the sight of 
hundreds of poor starving, miserable men, women, and 
children, right before his eyes. 

Now this may not happen to us, to begin ; we 
are not likely to have, either you or I, like the rich 
man, more money than we know what to do with, and 
yet we have, each one of us, something to use for 
other people, and which we too often use for ourselves, 
or even throw away. 

See how the thought of ' dear Me ' follows us from 
the cradle to the grave. It is 'dear Me' with the 
children at school-treats : * Let Me have the biggest 
piece of cake.'- 

It is * dear Me ' with the flowers down the lane. 
*/know where the violets grow ! I shan't tell j/ou/ 

It is * dear Me' with the mother when the neigh- 
bours tell her of * a bargain.' * Til be there first.' 

It is 'dear Me' with the fathers when there's a 
good job of work to be had. * Give it to Me.' The 
mothers and fathers, I know, would all say, ' It is 
for the sake of the children — not for myself;' and 
yet the children are part of them : and even for their 
sakes they must not be selfish. I know that in these 
hard times it is often a sore struggle to get along ; 
but I think if we were not all pushing and striving 
so much for ourselves, the struggle would not be 
such a desperate one. You know there is an old 
proverb which says, * Take care of number one.' We 



lo l^aiyt^ovixi iott]^ mo &ixU. 



none of us need to be reminded of that ; but we do 
need to be reminded of another which says, * Live and 
let live.' We are too apt to remember the first and 
forget the second. 

Another way in which selfishness shows itself is in 
taking offence. We must think a good deal of * dear 
Me' before we can make ourselves miserable over 
some hasty word, some passing slight. If we were 
thinking more of other people than of ourselves, we 
should scarcely stop to notice it, or else turn it off 
with a laugh, instead of going away to brood over it, 
and say to ourselves, as I once heard of a poor woman 
saying, * I'm not offended, but my feelings is hurt' 
You are not only thinking of yourself as * dear Me ' 
then, but as ^poor dear Me ' into the bargain. 

To think first of others is the true secret of un- 
selfishness, the only way in which we can forget * dear 
Me.' Have you ever heard the story of the brave and 
good man. Sir Philip Sidney, our own countryman, 
who, when mortally wounded in the thigh, parched 
with thirst on the battle-field, yet refused to drink 
the cup of water brought to him, saying, as he 
pointed to a dying soldier at his side, * Let him have 
it, he needs it more than I do.?' That cup of cold 
water has not been the only one given by unselfish 
hands. 

Shall we not, like Sir Philip Sidney, look around us 
to see who is in want of anything we can give ? Even 
a cup of cold water may be a priceless blessing to 
dying lips. And yet how often we miss doing 
such a thing as this, because we were so full of • 



®n iitl6A^ntii. ii 



* dear Me ' and our own wants that we never thought 
of it! 

Now if I were asked to point to an example of 
perfect unselfishness — of self-forgetting love, I should 
point to a mother, walking up and down half the 
night with a sick, fretful child — giving up sleep and 
rest willingly and cheerfully for its sake. Perhaps I 
ought to point even more to a patient, faithful nurse, 
who has not the mother's love to make her forget her 
weariness. 

* You know, Olive,' said Mrs. Wykeham, turning to 
her, * what bad nights Nannie often has with Baby, 
and yet you never hear her angry or cross with him, 
or say she is* too sleepy, too tired to take him up and 
attend to him, — that is real unselfishness.' 

Well, perhaps it is not in just such a way as this 
that Satan would tempt us to be selfish, for most 
women love little children and would do a great deal 
for them, but there are a thousand other ways in 
which Satan would try and tempt us all to think first 
of *dear Me;' and it is in little things that we grow 
selfish if we are not always on the watch. I know 
many girls — aye, and women too — who will be un- 
selfish in great things, and yet do not think it worth 
while to trouble themselves about such little everyday 
matters as giving up the most comfortable chair by 
the fire, or the nicest slice of bread-and-butter or cake 
at tea. And yet it is straws which show the way the 
wind blows, — little deeds of unselfishness that tell 
whether a person is in the habit of putting themselves 
or others first. 



12 f^altj^ottti^ iDttfi m$ dtrli^. 

' Now, do you know that reminds me/ said Mrs. 
Wykeham, pausing, * of the person I was thinking of 
when I wrote those lines. It was a dear friend of 
mine, since dead, whose whole life was spent in 
working for others. When she was a girl, about the 
age of either of you, she was left in charge of two or 
three younger brothers and sisters, their father and 
mother having both died in one year. She gave up her 
whole time and thoughts to them. No mother could 
have loved them more tenderly. Again and again she 
refused the offer of a happy home for herself, in which 
they would have no share ; and at last, when they 
were all settled, and it seemed to her friends that now 
indeed she might begin to think of herself and her 
own happiness, she caught a fever from a poor woman 
she had gone to nurse, and so gave up to God the 
life she had spent in a service of love and self-forget- 
fulness. 

* The beauty, too, of her unselfishness was that she 
never let you guess that what she did for you was any 
effort, — she always declared, with a merry laugh; that 
" it was of all others just the very thing she wanted to 
do." If there was a piece of work to be done, she 
would beg to have it, saying she " couldn't bear to sit 
idle." If you wanted to send somewhere, " How lucky," 
she would say," I was just wanting an excuse for a walk." 
But I should never stop,' added Mrs. Wykeham, * if I 
were to begin telling you half the beauty of such a 
life as hers, so we must go back to our paper.' 

We most of us scarcely know whether we are 
selfish or not, and the only way to find out would 



®n i^tlUii^mi^i. 13 



be to ask ourselves honestly such questions as 
these : — 

Am I always on the look-out for number one, or 
am I always thinking what I can do for other people ? 

Do I keep back hasty words, lest they should 
make others unhappy? 

Do I give up my own comfort for others ? 

Do I never let slip an opportunity of doing a 
kindness ? 

If a disagreeable thing has to be done, am I the 
one to do it? 

No one can answer these for you as well as you 
can answer them for yourselves, and it is to remind 
you to ask them whenever you hear these words that 
I chose for my subject to-day the common exclam- 
ation of * Dear Me ! ' 

*May I ask a question, ma'am?' said Olive, as 
Mrs. Wykeham laid down the paper. 

* Yes, certainly, as many as ever you like, and the 
more the better,' said she ; * for I assure you I don't 
mean to have all the talking to myself 

As Mrs. Wykeham said these words Kitty looked 
up quickly, half fancying she must have spoken her 
thoughts aloud the other day in the kitchen. 

*I wanted to know,' said Olive, thoughtfully, *if 
people can ever be too unselfish?' 

* Well,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * I don't think it is a 
very common fault ; but still I think it may be one 
sometimes. But tell me what made you think of it.' 

* Why ! it's like this, ma'am,' said Olive. * One 
day mother was carrying water from the well for our 



14 l^aUf^nvfi Mt^ mp &vclsi. 

washing, and the pitchers are heavy, and coming over 
the door-step she spilt some, so as I was wiping it up, 
old Granny Scriven, who lives next door, says to me, 
" Seems to me your mother's heart is like that pitcher 
of hers ; but I don't hold, myself, with wasting good 
things." " Mother's heart like the pitcher, granny?" said 
I. " Yes," says she ; " one's over full of water, and it 
gets wasted ; and t'other's over full of love, and it gets 
wasted, too." " How, granny ?" says I. And then she 
went on to say, " Look here, Olive ; if mother would 
make that big brother of yourn carry her pitchers for 
her, there'd be no water wasted, because he's stronger 
nor she ; and there'd be no love wasted, neither, for I 
call it wasted love that lets a young fellow grow up 
selfish and unmindful of his own mother." So after 
that I thought that perhaps people could be too un- 
selfish, because mother didn't give him a chance.' 

* Yes ; granny was quite right, Olive ; and we will 
try to remember her lesson too. — But see it is past the 
half-hour, and I want you to write down in these 
books the subject of our talk to-day, and the lesson 
to be learnt from it. I think if we do this every 
Sunday, it will be what I've heard called " a peg to 
hang your memory on," and help to remind you of 
what we have learnt. Look, like this !' So saying, 
Mrs. Wykeham held up one of the books, in which she 
had written, — 

^ Sunday ^ March i^tk, 

* Subject. — Selfishness. 

* Lesson. — Not to think first of ourselves.' 



CHAPTER III. 

ON AN OBJECT IN LIFE. 

Mrs. Wykeham had told the girls to think over a 
subject for the following Sunday, and that one of 
them should write it down and leave it on her dress- 
ing-table early in the week, that she too might have 
time to think it over before they met again. She had 
happened to lend Rhoda a little book the week before, 
in which one of the chapters was headed * An Object 
in Life,' and Rhoda having taken it up one evening 
before going to bed, had thought Mrs. Wykeham 
would make, as she said, * a nice talk, perhaps, out of 
that :' so the girls agreed to put it down upon paper, 
for they none of them quite understood what the 
book meant by saying, * I should advise every young 
person to have an object in life ;' and then, again, at 
the end, * Let each of my readers ask herself, " What 
is my object in life ? " ' 

* We didn't know what it meant, ma'am,' said 
Rhoda ; * for the story was all about a girl who sup- 
ported a blind father, and worked herself nearly blind, 
too, to earn money enough for them both.' 

* Oh, yes ; I remember the book,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham, * and the story, too. I will try and explain it all 



to you. But first tell me if you know what is the 
meaning of the word " object ? " ' 

The girls wrinkled up their foreheads, and tried 
hard to find another name for this word that had 
puzzled them, but none came, so Mrs. Wykeham went 
on, * I think that here it means something that we 
should seek or strive after. A miser makes money 
his object in life, and works early and late to get it. 
An ambitious man makes it his object in life to get 
on, to win himself a great name. A mother, perhaps, 
makes her children her object in life ; and so on.' 

* But is that wrong, ma'am ?' said Kitty ; * I mean 
for the mother to think most of her children ; of course 
it's wicked to be miserly.' 

* Well,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * your question shows 
that it is possible to have a bad object in life, and 
that it is possible to have a good one. What does the 
Bible tell us to seek first ? ' 

'The kingdom of God and His righteousness,' 
answered Jane, who hitherto had hardly spoken. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and that should be to 
each of us the first great object in life — the thing that 
we should seek for most earnestly and think most 
about ; though, I am sorry to say, we are all sadly apt 
to think least about it' 

* But do you think the Bible means we are to seek 
nothing else, and to think of nothing else, ma'am ? ' 

, * No ! ' said Kitty, * because it says, " Seek^rj/ the 
kingdom." ' 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and that is the mis- 
take some people make who go and shut themselves 



®n an ®l)jut m life. 17 

up away from the world and spend their whole time 
in praying and reading the Bible ; they indeed seek 
first the kingdom, but they forget that there is any- 
thing else that they should seek. Now, I want you 
to think what would be a second object that we could 
set ourselves to seek, besides, the first great object 
in life, that of seeking, and at last finding, the king- 
dom of heaven.' 

* There are so many things one wants,' said Rhoda ; 
though at the moment she could think of nothing 
that she wanted except a new spring bonnet like one 
she had lately seen in a shop-window. 

* What kind of things, Rhoda ? ' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham. 

I needn't tell you that Rhoda didn't answer, * A new 
bonnet,' for she knew the others would only laugh at 
her ; so she contented herself with saying, * Oh ! I 
suppose everybody wants something they haven't got, 
ma'am.' 

* I suppose most of us do,' answered Mrs. Wyke- 
ham.. *But the question is. Are they things worth 
making our object in life ? Now, if I were asked what 
would be the two objects that would be best worth 
seeking, I should answer in the words of the Catechism 
that you all have heard so often. For a first object, 
to seek to " do our duty towards God." This is what 
we have already spoken of. For a second^ " our duty 
towards our neighbour;" because I think that would 
include everything. I dare say you may say to your- 
selves, "Oh! but that's such a dull, stupid kind of 
object to have in life. We should like to choose some^ 

C 



1 8 f^alU^ontJi iotti^ mo 6itU. 

thing grander and nobler." But wait a minute. What 
did the poor girl we were speaking of just now in the 
story make her object in life ?* 

* Her father/ said Rhoda. 

* Well, and what part of her duty to her neighbour 
did she do then ?' 

* The part that says, " To love, honour, and succour 
my father and mother," ' said Olive. 

* Was she happy or unhappy in doing it ? ' 

*0h! happy, and singing all day long over her 
work,' said Olive. 

* Only, at last, her eyes began to get bad, and 
soon after her old father died,' put in Rhoda. 

*And what happened then?' 

* Oh ! she married soon after the same young man 
who had wanted to marry her all along, only she 
wouldn't listen to him.' 

* Exactly,' said Mrs. Wykeham. * She had been a 
good, faithful daughter ; and when God took away her 
one object in life. He gave her another in a good hus- 
band ; and I am sure,' added she, * that such a loving, 
faithful daughter would make a loving, faithful wife, 
and do her duty still in the new state of life to which 
it pleased God to call her. 

*But perhaps you will say, " To whom am I to de^ 
vote myself?" or as someone did long ago, "Who 
is my neighbour?" Who asked that, Jane.?' said 
Mrs. Wykeham. 

* The Pharisee,' answered Jane. 

* No ; it wasn't the Pharisee. Get your Bibles and 
look/ 



®n an ®bject in %iU. 19 

* Wasn't it the young ruler, ma'am ?' asked Rhoda. 

* Not him, either,' said Mrs. Wykeham. * You will 
find it in the loth chapter of St. Luke.' 

* Oh, no ; of course,' exclaimed Rhoda, * it was a 
lawyer!' 

* Well ; what answer did he get ?' 

* None, except the parable,' said Jane. 

* But the parable was the answer,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham; * for it taught him, and it teaches us, that every 
one we come across is our neighbour, even if we had 
never seen him before : so you see that gives us an 
object in life wherever we go, for we have always 
some one or other about us. 

* What do you think was our Lord's object in life ?' 

* To save us,' answered Olive. 

* I should rather say that was His object in dying 
for us,' replied Mrs. Wykeham. *I should say His 
object in life was to go about doing good, — good to 
men's souls and good to men's bodies ; and in that, 
in some faint degree, we can copy Him. Can we 
not?' 

* But we can't work miracles as Christ did,' said 
Kitty, who hitherto, though she had been listening 
attentively, had said but little. 

* No ; of course we can't,' answered Mrs. Wykeham. 
* But I don't think Christ's miracles were His only 
ways of healing. I think His gentle presence and 
His loving words must have healed many an aching 
heart. I think that His wise and loving counsel must 
have kept many from listening to the voice of Satan. 
I think that little children would scarcely have 



20 l^alUl^onti iDtt]^ mv 6ixU. 

gathered round and clung to Him, unless they had 
seen and known the daily and hourly lovingkindness 
that showed itself in His every word and action. 
Cannot we then make our object in life something 
like what His was? — for love is like mercy, of which a 
grand old poet tells us, 

" It is twice blessed. 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 
It droppeth like the gentle dew from heaven." ' 

*But now for our books; — for, see! it is such a 
lovely afternoon that, instead of making our talk any 
longer, I shall send you out for a walk, and you ^hall 
think a little more of what I have just said, by finding 
out for me in the next few days, so as to be ready to 
show me when I ask you, four people in the Bible 
who chose a good object in life, and four who chose 
a bad one. 

' In the meantime what shall we write of the Sun- 
day's lesson ?' 

The girls took up their pencils, and presently, 
Kitty, who had finished first, held up her book for 
Mrs. Wykeham to see, and in it she had written,^ 

* Sunday y March 22nd. 

' Subject. — An Object in Life. 

'Lesson. — To make God our first object, and our 

neighbour the second/ 



CHAPTER IV. 

ON SHAMEFACEDNESS. 

* The papers you gave me last Sunday evening were 
very nicely done/ said Mrs. Wykeham, when they 
met the following week in her room ; * and as I see 
you understand now what an object in life is, we will 
go on to consider to-day's subject/ 

Mrs. Wykeham had, during the previous week, 
given each of the girls a paper on which was written, 

* Shanlefacedness : what does the word mean ? and 
is it a good or a bad quality to possess ?' 

* I am going to choose the subject for every other 
Sunday,' she had said as she handed them to the 
girls, * as you say it is so difficult to tKink of some- 
thing.' 

So to-day the girls came with their papers in their 
hands, prepared to listen and to tell what they had 
thought of about shamefacedness. 

* Have you any answer to my question ?* said Mrs. 
Wykeham, when they had seated themselves. * What 
IS the meaning of shamefacedness ?' 

*We think it means to be ashamed of oneself,' 
answered Kitty and Jane, who had talked it over 
together, * because David said, " The shame of my face 
hath covered me." ' 



22 l^alli^onri imiti^ ntD 6itU. 

* No ; It doesn't mean that/ said Mrs. Wykeham, 
* though the text sounds like it. That was a dif- 
ferent kind of shame. That meant he was ashamed 
of himself because he had done what he knew to be 
wrong. Now a person may be shamefaced and yet 
not ashamed of any wrong-doing. Whaf do you 
think, Olive?' 

* I thought so, too, at first,' said Olive ; * and then I 
looked in Timothy, and I thought it meant something 
like being " shy," or else " humble." ' 

* That is much nearer the mark,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham ; * but neither of the words quite explains it. I 
think that "bashful," or "modest," would be more 
what its real meaning is. When you hear of a girl 
being dressed in a neat and modest way, you know 
that means that her dress is not such as to attract 
attention, or make people look at her. When you 
hear of a girl looking up bashfully at some one who is 
speaking to her, you feel that she is not one of those 
who would pass you with a bold stare or a toss of the 
head. Such a girl would be what I should call " shame- 
faced." What would be the opposite of this ?' 

'Boldfaced,' answered Kitty, readily; adding in 
an undertone to Olive, with a mischievous twinkle 
of her eye, * "Out upon you ! — fie upon you ! boldfaced 

Jig. 

* Now, Kitty, we mustn't play,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 

who had overheard her ; * though I daresay Robin 
Redbreast would find plenty of Miss Jennies to say it 
to besides Jenny Wren. But to go on with our sub- 
ject. I don't think now that you will have any 



difficulty in answering my second question. What 
was it, Rhoda ? If it was a good or a bad quality ?* 

*Why, of course it is a bad thing, ma'am, to be 
bold ; so it must be a good thing to be shamefaced,' 
answered Rhoda. * But I ' 

* You shall tell me what your " but " is afterwards, 
Rhoda ; for, before we go any farther, get your Bibles 
and look at the place that Olive found, and the only 
one I believe where shamefacedness is spoken of in 
the Bible. The chapter is the second of the first of 
Timothy. Kitty, find the verse. Not you, Olive ; for 
you have found it already.' 

Presently Kitty, looking up, said * The tenth,' and 
then she read, * In like manner, also, that women 
adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefaced- 
ness.' 

* So St. Paul thought it was a good thing,' said 
Mrs. Wykeham. * Now there are some other places 
where the same word is mentioned, but not in the 
Bible. It is in what are called the Books of the 
Apocrypha, of which our Prayer-book says, " The 
Church doth read " them " for example of life and 
instruction of manners," though not to " establish any 
doctrine." I will read what we find there, in the 26th 
chapter of Ecclesiasticus, and the isth verse: "A 
shamefaced and faithful woman is a double grace." 
And again, in the 25 th verse : " She that is shame- 
faced will fear the Lord." Now both these texts — for 
the meaning of the word " text " is " reading," so we 
can use it as well for the Apocrypha as for the Bible 
— teach us that shamefacedness was considered in old 



24 3l^aIt^{)ourie( b}it^ mp &ivU. 

days a grace or adornment for a woman to possess. 
What did St. Peter say about a woman's best adorn- 
ment ?' 

* It was to have a meek and quiet spirit/ answered 
Olive, who knew her Bible better than either of the 
others. 

* So you see/ said Mrs. Wykeham, * he was of the 
same opinion, for a shamefaced woman would be 
meek and quiet too. But sometimes I fancy that 
people have changed their minds ; girls especially, 
and that they think to be meek and quiet means to 
be dull and stupid ; and that it is much better for a 
girl to have a spirit of her own, and not be "put upon." 
Was that your " but " that you began with just now, 
Rhoda ? ' 

' Yes, it was/ said Rhoda, blushing ; * but I didn't 
understand. IVe heard people say, " She's but a poor- 
spirited creature." ' 

* Ah ! but that has a different meaning to our 
" meek and quiet " spirit, or to the " poor in spirit " 
which our Lord speaks of. I think that means a wo- 
man who, instead of battling bravely with the hard- 
ships and difficulties of life, sits down and folds her 
hands and groans over them. But to return to our 
subject. One more instance I can give you of the 
meaning of " shamefacedness." When Mrs. Wyn- 
gate asked little Nellie the other day, Olive, to repeat 
a hymn to her, what did she do ? ' 

* She ran to you, ma'am, and hid her face in your 
lap.' 

'Well, that wasn't because she was ashamed of 



herself, but because she was too modest or bashful to 
repeat her hymn before a whole room full of people. 
She would have said it alone to Mrs. Wyngate, I 
think ; but that seemed to her like showing off; and 
so Nellie turned shamefaced, all of a sudden, and hid 
her face in my lap. 

* Now I think you understand the different mean- 
ings of the word shamefaced, and we all agree that 
it is a grace or adornment Let us try and think of 
the three ways in which we can show that we possess 
it. First, I should say by our dress ; how else, Kitty, 
can you think ? ' 

But Kitty couldn't think or Jane either j at last 
Rhoda said, * Oh, by our manner, wasn't it, ma'am ? ' 

* Yes, that is a second. And now for a third.' 

* By our words ? ' asked Kitty, whose wits had now 
woke up. 

* Yes ; and by our silence too, sometimes. But we 
will take these three, and consider them in turn,' said 
Mrs. Wykeham. * First, by our dress ; tell me how 
do you think a girl can show she is modest or shame- 
faced in that.' 

* By being neat and clean, and not wearing fine 
clothes,' said Kitty. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * because in the state 
to which God has called girls like you. He does not 
mean you to wear fine clothes like the queen and 
people of high rank, any more than He dresses the 
snowdrop like the flowers in a greenhouse, purple, 
and crimson, and gold. They have their place, and 
the snowdrop has its place too, and it is none the less 



28 l^alU^onvi iDtt{) m$ 6ivlfi. 

me by next Sunday, and each find me some story 
from the Bible of a man or woman, boy or girl, who 
forgot this lesson of reverence for elders.' 

*I know one already!' exclaimed Olive; 'the 
children and the bears.' 

* Come ! we mustn't hear it now, for we have yet 
the third part to notice, of modesty in words,' said 
Mrs. Wykeham. * There are words and expressions, 
you know, which it is all very well for men to use, 
but which are not modest in a woman. You must 
avoid all these. You must speak gently ; and, as we 
said before, give honour where honour is due, not 
like some people who will never say " ma'am " or 

" sir " to anybody above them in position But, 

hark ! there is the clock striking, so now for the books. 
I think you may write for to-day : — 

* Sunday, March 2gtk. 

' Subject. — Shamefacedness. 

* Lesson. — That modesty is a woman's best 

adornment.' 



CHAPTER V. 

ON HEALTH. 

* Strength, or, as we will rather call it, health, was 
the subject we chose for to-day's talk,' began Mrs. 
Wykeham, when they were seated the following Sun- 
day. * What was the chapter that we found this subject 
in, Rhoda ?' 

* In the chapter about the virtuous woman, ma'am ?' 
answered Rhoda. 

* Yes ; but where is that to be found ?' 

* Oh ! in the last of Proverbs,' said Rhoda, * and she 
was to have strength for her clothing.' 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and we decided 
that as King Lemuel thought a virtuous woman 
ought to be a strong one, we would think a little of 
how we can make the most of whatever health or 
strength God has given each one of us. But why do 
you think King Lemuel (and I want you to notice that 
it was him, and not, as many people imagine, King 
Solomon, who wrote this chapter) thought that a 
virtuous woman ought to be a strong one ?' 

* I can't think, ma'am,' said Olive ; * for it often 
seems to me that sick people are the best ones.' 

* Very often they are,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * but I 



30 )^aIf^|)oun{ iDtt]^ ntD &itU, 

think that it is generally because they are those whom 
God has taught through sickness to listen to His voice. 
I meam that God sometimes uses sickness as He does 
sorrow, as a rod of correction for those who else 
would be too busy or too careless to listen to His 
teachings. But still, that is not a reason why we 
should throw away our own health ; is it ?* 

* No !' said Jane. * Father often used to say when 
he was laid up with the rheumatics, that no one knew 
the blessing of health till they had lost it' 

* Quite true,* said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and I think 
that Lemuel, and, perhaps still more, Lemuel's mother, 
who taught him all this, knew that quite as often a 
sick man or woman was a peevish, discontented, 
grumbling one. For instance, you have all known 
what it was to have what we will call an " unlucky 
day." ' 

* Oh ! yes,' said Kitty ; * I have, often. One gets 
out of bed the wrong side, as the saying is, and every- 
thing goes wrong all day.' 

* Well ! did you ever ask yourself these two ques- 
tions ?' said Mrs. Wykeham. * First, " Is it my fault, 
or other people's?" and, secondly, " Is it the fault of 
' my soul or my body ?" ' • 

* I know it's one's own fault, partly, ma'am/ put in 
Olive. * But I don't understand about its being the 
fault either of one's soul or of one's body.' 

* Well ! I'll explain to you,' said Mrs. Wykeham. 
* I knew an old man who sometimes used to get very 
cross, and one day his daughter said to him, "What- 
ever is the matter with you, father, to-day?" " Well ! 



®n l^taia^. 31 



my dear," he answered, "It's summat sin, but it's 
summat bile;" by which he meant to say that his 
crossness was partjy owing to his soul being sinful, 
and partly, also, owing to his body, that is to say, his 
liver, being out of order. Now it is often the same 
with us ; and generally these unlucky days are 
partly because we are not quite well, anid partly 
because we are not keeping a watch against the 
temptation of saying cross words or feeling out of 
temper.' 

* When we were cross, mother often gave us a dose 
of physic,' said Olive, * and sometimes only a glass of 
cold water.' 

* Well ! ' said Mrs. Wykeham, * I daresay that helped 
you out of many a cross fit. But to return to our 
subject. Lemuel, you see, agreed with the wise men 
of old, who said that we must always try and keep a 
healthy mind in a healthy body ; and I don't think that 
a virtuous woman would be the bright, active, cheerful, 
loving spirit he was thinking of, unless she had been 
pretty well and strong. We shouldn't find, for instance, 
a sickly woman " rising while it was yet night," with 
much pleasure or profit, to look after her l^ousehold 
and her maidens. I think, therefore, that we may 
look upon sickness rather as a trial than a blessing in 
general, which indeed we are only too ready to do ; 
so now let us think how best we can keep well and 
strong. This has been a subject I have wanted t<*> 
speak to you about several times lately, and we can't 
have a better opportunity than to-day, — for there is 
nurse ill in bed with rheumatism, — Olive looking 



32 l^alt^onvfi iDtt|) ntD &ixU. 

heavy about the eyes for want of sleep, because of 
lying awake with baby ; and only yesterday I had to 
doctor Rhoda with fresh air and a run in the fields 
for her headache. So tell me, first, what are some of 
the things most necessary for pur health.' 
'Medicine?' asked Kitty. 

* No ! certainly not,* said Mrs. Wykeham ; * though 
some people seem to think so. Medicine may be 
necessary for our sickness, but not for our health.' 

* Air ? ' asked Rhoda. 

* Yes ; that is one very necessary thing, and one 
you need to remember ; for I know girls who, though 
they are put to sleep — and perhaps it cannot be 
helped — in the tiniest of rooms, yet would not sleep 
with their window or door open for anything, and say 
that it would give them their death of cold. Now, 
fresh air, even if cold, is better than bad hot air, and a 
little thought would soon teach you how much you 
could safely stand. Custom is a great thing ; and I 
have known even the most delicate people accustom 
themselves, little by little, to sleeping with their window 
or door open. You cannot, most of you, choose your 
rooms, but you can choose whether to breathe good 
air or bad, in most cases.* 

* Was that why you had that tin thing put in the 
wall of Jane's room, ma'am ? ' asked Olive. • 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * it was a small room, 
and used to get what I call " stuffy," which means 
that the air is not as sweet and pure as it would be in 
a large room ; so we put in what is called a ventilator, 
to let the fresh air be always coming in without making 



©It fteaW^. 33 



a draught. Now for another thing that is necessary 
for our health/ 

* Food ? ' asked Kitty. 

* Yes, — good food, that is to say, for bad or 
improper food would destroy our health. Have we 
any rule given us about food in the Bible ? * 

' The Jews had,' said Olive ; * but I don't think we 
have.' 

* Do you mean where it says about eating or drink- 
ing to God's glory, ma'am ? ' asked Jane. 

* Yes ; that is partly what I meant,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham. 

' I thought of it,* said Jane, blushing, * because once 
I made myself ill with eating cake at the school-feast, 
and Mrs. Hayter, our clergyman's wife, spoke to me 
about it.' 

* I suppose she told you that to eat greedily and 
take more than is good for us, is not eating to the 
glory of God ; didn't she ? ' asked Mrs. Wykeham. 

* Yes, ma'am; that was just what she said,' replied 
Jane, * and I always remembered it' 

* Well, then,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, * we must 
be temperate in eating and drinking, neither taking too 
much nor too little. Now I have known girls who, 
without being the least greedy, yet do eat more than is 
good for them. As, for instance, a girl who suddenly 
changes the simple food of her cottage-home for the 
richer fare of a large house. If she is not careful she 
may eat as much as she sees the others do, and make 
herself quite ill. I knew a young girl who went as 
under-housemaid to a large house. She had not been 

D 



34 l^alUf^ontH \nit^ mp &ivU. 

used at home to meat and beer, and yet thought she 
could eat as the rest of the servants did. The conse- 
quence was, she fell ill, and when the doctor came, he 
said it was all owing to living on food that she was 
not accustomed to, and that was too rich for her. Now 
without even knowing it, you see she ill-treated her 
body and had to suffer for it. The other fault, that 
of eating too little, is not one you are likely to be 
tempted to fall into, though I once heard of a girl who 
fretted so against some trial God had sent her, that 
she refused food, and thus threw away her health, and 
at last her life. I think each one of you, too, should 
learn how to cook plain food well and wholesomely, 
for you may have other people's health some day to 
take care of as well as your own.' 

* Mother made us each take the dinner in turn 
when we were at home,' said Olive. * She said she 
should be ashamed that any girl of hers should marry 
and not be able to set a decent dinner before her 
husband.' 

* Mother was very wise. I wish all mothers 
were as much so, then we should not hear of so 
much waste and want,' said Mrs. Wykeham. *But 
now for another thing that we need.' 

But the girls couldn't think of anything else 
whatever. 

* Supposing I kept you awake all to-night, and to- 
morrow night, and every day and night for a week, 
Olive .?' 

* Oh ! sleep, we want sleep,' answered the girls all 
together. 



®n J&ealt]^. 35 



*And here, again/ continued Mrs. Wykeham, 
* neither too much nor too little. Not so much as to 
lie in bod late in the morning when we ought to be up 
and stirring.' 

Here Kitty looked at Jane, who got rather red, 
for Kitty, to do her justice, was generally first to be up 
in the morning. 

* Nor so little,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, * as to 
sit up late at night, if it can be helped, and have black 
circles round our eyes like these,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 
pointing at Olive. * One thing more we want, most 
especially,' continued she ; * can you think of anything 
else ? ' 

* I can't think what more we couldn't go without/ 
said Kitty, * if we had good food, good air, and good 
sleep.' 

* Supposing I gave you all these, Kitty, and yet 
tied you down in your chair and never let you move 
hand or foot, what should you do ? ' 

'I'm afraid I should kick, ma'am/ said Kitty, 
laughing ; * but I don't think it would kill me.' 

* Perhaps it wouldn't kill you, but you would 
gradually lose the use of your arms and legs ; 
that wouldn't be very healthy, would it? So we 
want — '- } ' 

* To move about,' said Olive. 

* Yes ; or what is called exercise,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham. *Many other things I should like to talk to 
you about, but I have not time, for, see, it is already 
beyond our half-hour ; but still, one word or two more 
I must say. About water, now, for instance/ 



36 ^sUb^ontfi btt]^ mp &ixU. 

*You mean about washing our bodies, and 
keeping them clean ; don't you, ma'am ? ' asked 
Olive. 

' Yes, I do ; and when you think how the children 
in the nursery are washed all over, every day, from 
head to foot, and then ask yourselves how much you 
do in that way, you may have some idea of whether 
you treat your body well or ill in that respect. Then, 
again, about getting wet feet, and standing in damp 
clothes; about wearing a thin shawl or jacket, because it 
is your smart one, however cold the day may be; about 
lacing yourselves in so tight you can scarcely breathe 
— ^though I am glad to say none of you do that ; about 
carrying heavy weights upstairs ; about kneeling on 
damp floors because it was too much trouble to fetch 
the hassock ; about all these things girls are too 
thoughtless and often throw away their health. Do 
you remember poor Bessie Glover, who got a rheu- 
matic fever in that way, and was crippled for life ? ' 

' Oh, yes,' said Olive ; * and she can never go out to 
service again.' 

* Hark ! there is three o'clock striking,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham. * We really mustn't talk any more to-day, 
though I haven't half said all I should like to ; but 
now get out your books and write down for to-day — 

' Sunday, April $tk, 

' Subject. — Health. 

* Lesson. — To try and keep a sound mind in a sound 

bodv.' 



CHAPTER VI. 

ON ' ODD JOBS.* 

'It isn't my work, and I shan't do it!' said a high 
young voice on the stairs the next morning, as Mrs. 
Wykeham was going her usual rounds. ' Mrs. Wyke- 
ham said the first and second floors were my work,' 
continued the said voice, ' and this isn't either.' 

' And she said mine was the basement floor, and 
this isn't the basement, and I shan't do them neither,' 
answered a second voice, younger but higher. 

What the * this ' and the ' them ' in question were 
puzzled Mrs. Wykeham at first to guess, till, as she 
came down the stairs, she remembered that between 
the first floor and the basement were six unlucky 
steps leading from one to the other, which she had 
forgotten to mention when arranging the work, and 
it was on the most important matter of who should 
sweep down these steps, that the debate was being 
held between Rhoda, the under-housemaid, and Jane, 
the kitchenmaid. She said nothing about it at the 
time, as both the girls had disappeared when she 
reached the steps in question ; but coming up again 
she happened to meet her husband to whom she 
remarked : 



38 ^glU^oux^ btt]^ m^ &ixU. 

' Really would you imagine how silly girls can be? 
Because the six steps leading from the first floor to 
the basement are not either on Rhoda's or Jane's es- 
pecial ground, neither of them will undertake to clean 
them without my orders.* 

* My dear/ said Mr. Wykeham, very gravely, as 
if he was pronouncing sentence, * give each of them 
three to do.' 

* So I wilV said Mrs. Wykeham, laughing. ' I 
never knew you wrong in your judgment yet, and 
that will teach them to remember what I am going 
to make the subject of my next Sunday's lesson.' 

Accordingly without saying a word to the girls, 
Mrs. Wykeham very gravely handed Rhoda next 
day a paper on which was written, * Odd Jobs ; or, 
the six steps that were nobody's work.' The paper 
was received with rather a puzzled smile, but no more 
was said about it. 

'Nobody's work,' began Mrs. Wykeham next 
Sunday, ' and who is to do it, is to be the matter for 
our consideration this afternoon. Now nobody's 
work is to be found everywhere — in the house, in the 
garden, in the cottage, in the palace ; but if because 
it is nobody's work it were all left undone, why the 
world would soon come to a standstill. What is to 
be done about it.?' 

* Not have any,' said Kitty ; ' wouldn't that be 
best, ma'am .?' 

'Ah, yes — if it could be managed,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham ; ' but if six steps have to be cleaned, and 
the two people whose work lies nearest both say, " It 



®n '®M 3oUJ 39 



isn't my work, and I shan't do it/' what is to be 
done?' she added, smiling and looking at Rhoda 
and Jane, who both blushed and began now to see 
what nobody's work meant. 

' I didn't quite mean not to have the work done 
at all, ma'am,' said Kitty; 'I meant make it into 
somebody's work.' 

*And then each person I tell to do it thinks 
herself very much "put upon," and says, " I don't see 
why I should do it more than anybody else ; " so I 
don't find that is a good plan. No, we must make 
up our minds that to be strictly /iwj"/, " nobody's work " 
must be turned into " two bodies' " work.* 

* You mean, ma'am, don't you,' said Jane, looking 
up, 'that we should each do half?' 

* Yes, I do,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; ' and you'll find 
if you notice, that whenever you hear a person say, 
" It isn't my work, and I shan't do it," that it is 
generally next door to that person's work, so at least 
they might agree to do half. But there is yet what 
Paul would call "a more excellent way" to treat 
nobody's work, not to treat it so much justly as 
generously. Do you know what I mean ?' 

' I suppose you mean, ma'am.' said Rhoda, looking 
rather abashed, 'that we ought to do it ours:^lves 
when it comes in our way?' 

* That is exactly what I do mean. Don't stand 
upon your rights, as the saying is, but do the right 
which would be to willingly take upon yourself any 
little extra work for the sake of other people. The 
world is so full of these odd jobs, they meet us at 



40 ^aiy^ouxi btt]^ m^ &ixU. 

every turn ; and often it takes people longer to stand 
and make a fuss over doing them, than it would to 
do them straight off. The people who are most loved 
in the world, are generally the pleasant, obliging ones 
who run and do this and that, which they see wants 
doing, without ever stopping to ask, "Is it my busi- 
ness ?" I want you to remember this, especially as 
you are placed in the position of servants — that a 
disobliging person is not only disliked, but un- 
Christianlike/ 

* I remember, ma'am,' said Olive, * you told us 
once that there was generally one in each family who 
was the unselfish one and did the odd jobs/ 

' Yes ; and you said, ma'am,' added Kitty, ' that 
it was mostly the youngest : and I remembered that 
because Tm youngest at home.' 

* Well, and did you do the odd jobs, Kitty ?' asked 
Mrs. Wykeham, smiling. 

' No, ma'am, that I didn't ; because I had only 
one other sister, and mother did them all, I believe. 
They used to say she spoilt me.' 

' She must have indeed, Kitty ; and I hope when 
you go home next time you'll spoil her, and run all 
her messages, and do all the odd jobs vou can think 
of.' 

' I'll try to,' said Kitty ; * but it seems to me that 
sometimes the more people do, the more they are 
asked to.' 

' Well, and I should look upon that as an honour, 
Kitty,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, laughing. * It would 
show that you did the odd jobs so well, that they 



®n '&M 3oU*' 41 



couldn't be done without you. If you did them 
thoroughly badly, you wouldn't be asked a second 
time. Besides, remember that if you do little 
extra things for other people, and are kind and 
obliging, they are sure to do the same in return for 
you.' 

* Oh, I know they do, ma'am,' said Rhoda ; * but 
it never struck me before, that one got any extra work 
made up for in that way, but now I think of it, one 
does. I remember Kitty did some of my grates when 
I wanted to go over to see mother one day when she 
was ill, and I was glad enough to do hers the next 
week, when her head ached, because I thought how 
she'd helped me.' 

'I believe,' said Mrs. Wykeham, thoughtfully, 
almost as if speaking to herself, ' one reason why we 
are all not more ready to do odd jobs, as we call them, 
is because we very rarely get thanked for doing 
them.' 

* I suppose it is,' said Olive. ' You see, if either 
Jane or Rhoda had done those steps, ma'am, they'd 
neither of them have got the credit for doing them 
any more than if they'd left them alone.' 

* " Not with eye-service as men-pleasers," ' quoted 
Mrs. Wykeham. *We must not do our work for 
what thanks or credit we get from our fellow-men, 
we must do all that we do with a higher motive " as 
unto God." Think how much of the best and noblest 
work in the world gets no thanks. Think of men 
who forsake home and country to go out and preach 
the Gospel to the heathen. Do they do it for thanks 



42 l^alVfyoutH btt]^ m0 &itU. 

or for love of God ? Think of those who spend their 
lives in working among the poor outcasts in the 
wretched streets and lanes of our large towns — do 
they do it for thanks, or from the same high motive ? 
Think again of the noblest life that was ever lived — 
the life of our blessed Lord ; when He went about 
doing good, was He thanked, was He not rather 
despised and rejected ? Even when we think of the 
shedding of His precious blood for us, does it not 
remind us of our own ingratitude, our hardness of 
heart, who scarcely even yield Him thanks for such 
exceeding love ? No, remember this, girls : in every- 
thing ^/z/^ thanks ; in nothing look for thanks. Look 
higher ; look up, and as you go about your daily 
tasks, adding a little here, and a little there, that might, 
but ought not to be left undone, remember that a 
loving eye is looking down upon you, and that your 
labour is not in vain in the Lord.' 

Mrs. Wykeham as she ended, took out her watch, 
and looking at it, said, * I see it is not quite time yet, 
so I will read you out of this book, a sentence I copied 
into it long ago, that has often and often come back 
to me since. There it is,' she added, as she turned 
over the leaves of a little black book which had been 
lying on the table at her side. 

* Something disagreeable has to be done, somebody 
must do it ; find a good reason why you are not that 
somebody. Now sometimes I have myself come 
across something disagreeable which had to be done, 
and which I felt very much inclined to leave to the 
next person who came by, when these words have 



(®n '(©M 3obi/ 43 



come into my mind, " Give a good reason why you 
should not do it." It was very seldom I ever could 
find a good reason. I might say to myself, " Oh, it's 
so disagreeable !" but that was no reason, or " Oh, Tm 
so busy !" but I felt that wouldn't do either, so those 
little words often shamed me into just doing it myself. 
I dare say when the priest and the Levite passed by 
and saw the poor man who had fallen among thieves, 
by the roadside, they both said to themselves, " Why 
should I trouble myself about him ? I don't know 
who he is. It isn't my business to go and bind up 
his wounds. It is such a disagreeable thing to have 
to do, and it would only hinder me on my journey." 
But I don't think any of those excuses would have 
been good ones, and if they had either of them said 
to themselves " Why shouldn't I do it ?" they would 
have been puzzled to give a really good reason. The 
good Samaritan didn't stop to ask himself any such 
questions, I think, for when he saw him, he had com- 
passion on him, and went to him at once, and took 
care of him. 

* What do we call a man who takes upon him- 
self some special duty that he is not forced to }' But 
the girls couldn't think, so Mrs. Wykeham tried putting 
it another way : * What is your brother in, Rhoda ? 
he isn't a regular soldier, is he ?' 

* Oh ! the volunteers, ma'am.' 

' Well, then, he takes upon himself the duties of 
a soldier ; though he is not forced to ; doesn't he ?' 

*0h, yes, ma'am,' said Rhoda; *I didn't under- 
stand.' 



44 l^sAU^outi btt]^ tnp &ixli. 

' Now, then, I should like all of you girls to enlist 
yourselves henceforth as volunteers.' 

*What for, ma'am ?' asked Rhoda. *I don't see 
what we can do.' 

' You can volunteer for all the odd jobs that come 
in your way, and I shall enlist you as my " Friendly 
Corps," ' she added, smiling. 

* Oh, yes, ma'am !' said Kitty, laughing; * that will 
be a capital name now we're all in the Friendly 
Society.' 

' Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; ' and we will write for 
our lesson of to-day the Society's motto : 

' Sunday y April I2tk, 

* Subject. — Odd Jobs. 

' Lesson. — Bear ye one another's burdens, and so 
fulfil the law of Christ' 



CHAPTER VII. 

ON MARRIAGE. 

Mrs. Wykeham greeted the girls the following 
Sunday, with a letter in her hand, saying, ' My 
subject has chosen itself for to-day, for see here is 
a letter in which Miss Nelson has written for us an 
account of Margary Abbot's wedding-day, and en- 
closed one from Margary herself. I will read hers 
first ; but I forget, Kitty did not know her. Margary 
lived here, Kitty, several years as under-housemaid, 
and left to go to Mrs. Nelson as house and parlour- 
maid at Northcote. Her letter begins : — 

* Honoured Madam, — I take my pen in hand to 
write this to you, hoping it finds you well, as it 
leaves me at present. I make so bold as to write to 
you, and Miss Nelson says she will send it after I 
am gone. To-day is my wedding-day, and I am 
very happy to tell you that I think John will make 
me a kind, good husband. He has got a little cottage 
close by here, which we have furnished with our 
savings. I wish you could be at our wedding, for I 
think so often of all you taught me. 

' I remain, honoured Madam, 
* Your humble and affectionate servant, 

' Margary.' 



46 1^aiyi)owc^ h)tt|| tn^ &ixU. 

* Now for the account of the wedding/ said Mrs. 
Wykeham, taking up the other paper. * Miss Nelson 
has written it in the form of a little story, I see.' 

*The sun rose on the morning of the i8th of 
June, Margary's wedding-day, in a cloudless sky, and 
if " happy is the bride the sun shines upon," Margary 
Day will be a happy woman. 

* The first thing on which her eyes rested, as she 
looked out of the window in the morning, was an 
arch of evergreens, put up over the gate of the pretty 
cottage, where she had lived for the last year with Mrs. 
and Miss Nelson — "only a year," thought Margary, 
" and I meant to stay so long !" 

* When she came back from the window, another 
sight caught her eye. She had laid out her wedding- 
gown of dove-coloured alpaca the night before, with 
the little white shawl she was to wear, in readiness 
for the morrow ; and now on the top of the two lay 
the prettiest bonnet that ever was seen, of dove- 
coloured silk, and white satin ribbons. 

* " Don't choose a bonnet for yourself, Margary," 
Mrs. Nelson had said ; " count on me for that ;" and 
here it was, looking as dainty and bridal as one would 
wish to see. 

* " Oh, how lovely !" exclaimed Margary. " I must 
try it on. No, I won't for a minute," she said to 
herself ; " finery shan't be my first thought to-day." 
So laying down the bonnet, she stept softly over to 
the chair in the window, and there knelt down for 
ten minutes. 



®tt fiHAXxisL^t. 47 



* What Margary said on her knees she did not tell 
me, but I think it must have been words of love 
and thankfulness, dedicating herself afresh on this 
her wedding-day to be a pure member of Christ's 
Bride, the Church. 

' Then she rose and finished her dressing ; fastened 
the pretty grey boddice, tied the knots of white 
satin ribbon that Miss Nelson had given for her hair 
and throat, thinking to herself, "How glad I am 
that I haven't to do any work to-day, but may 
spend the next hour quietly in Mrs. Nelson's room. 
I seem to have got so much to think of — but I 
must try that bonnet on now." So going to the look- 
ing-glass, Margary put it on her head, and though 
she didn't tell me, I fancy she was pretty well pleased 
with the blooming face set in white ribbons and dove- 
coloured silk that met her gaze. 

* I must explain to you that Margary was to be 
married from her mistress's house, and that she and 
her fellow-servant had each had leave to ask six 
friends to the wedding-breakfast, which Mrs. Nelson 
was going to give — wedding-cake and all. 

* When Margary had finished her preparations, 
she went, as Mrs. Nelson had told her, into her 
room. 

* " Come and see, Margary, what the Associates and 
Members of the WalHngford Friendly Society have 
sent you as a wedding present," said she, as Margary 
opened the door ; and, true enough, there on the 
table stood a beautiful clock, with these words 
written on a paper beside it, " For our dear 



48 U^AlU^ouxi h)tt]^ mp &itU. 

Margary — a wedding present from her affectionate 
friends." ' 

* I must tell you that the Branch of the Society 
there is a large one/ here interposed Mrs. Wykeham, 
* and that Margary was the first member whose name 
was written in the list.' 

* Great was Margary's delight, both at the kind 
thought and at the clock itself, which would be so 
welcome an ornament to her parlour. 

' The wedding was fixed for eleven o'clock, and 
Margary, standing at the altar in the little old church, 
pledged her troth to love, honour, and obey him 
whom she had chosen to be her husband. 

*When the service was over, Margary, walking 
arm in arm with John, and surrounded by her friends, 
walked back to the cottage where she had spent 
so many happy days. There in the kitchen was 
spread the wedding-feast ; and in the middle of the 
table, which Miss Nelson herself had decked with 
flowers, stood the wedding-cake. I cannot tell you 
in a letter all about the speeches, or how Mrs. Nelson 
came in and drank the bride and bridegroom's health, 
saying that if Margary proved as good a wife as she 
had been a servant,- "John" was indeed to be con- 
gratulated ; or how Miss Nelson made up the wed- 
ding bouquet from some beautiful flowers "John" had 
sent him by a friend of his, a gardener, — how Margary's 
mother, with tears in her eyes, thanked Mrs. Nelson 
for being, as she said, " like a mother to her girl." 



(9n jfiamage. 49 



' I can only add, that it was a day long remem- 
bered, both in the home Margary was leaving, and in 
the new home where she went on the same afternoon 
of that happy wedding-day.' 

* Oh ! that was a nice wedding, wasn't it, ma'am ?' 
said Olive ; * I am glad that Margary made herself 
such a favourite with them all.' 

* Yes,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * Margary knew 
the secret of making service a labour of love, and won 
in return the love of those she served ; but now I am 
going to read you a few words that I wrote down last 
night for you on this subject — that of marriage. I 
have often meant to speak to you about it, because it 
seemed to me that girls are apt to treat it too lightly, 
more as if it were a joke, than what it is, one of the 
most solemn acts of a woman's life. I think you 
know what I mean when I say they treat it cis a joke. 
When the subject is spoken of, I have seen girls look 
round at one another and laugh ; I have heard them 
whispering and giggling together, over the bare idea 
of one of them going to be married ; and yet, if it 
is treated in that way, it may prove no laughing 
matter. 

' I have known a girl — I do not say either of you 
would — talk of "getting a husband" as if it were of far 
less consequence than getting a new bonnet. I should 
be indeed sorry if either of you were to look upon it 
in that light. 

* Of course marriage is a subject you are sure both 
to think of and to talk about, though sometimes the 

£ 



50 l^alUl^ouxi Mti^ mp &itli. 

less said about it till the time comes, the better. I do 
not ask you to leave off thinking about it I would 
only ask you to think about it wisely, and prayerfully. 

* Prayerfully ; ah! that is the real secret of a happy 
marriage, to make it a subject of prayer. If you 
ask God to choose for you in this, as in other matters, 
you cannot go wrong.' 

' But,' said Olive, * how can a girl know if God is 
guiding her — how can she tell whether He means her 
to marry at all, or who it is she is to marry ?' 

'I will tell you,' said Mrs. Wykeham. * If you are 
willing to do what is right, and not what you like, 
God will show you what He means you to do in each 
step of your life, so plainly that you cannot remain 
in doubt about it. He may not show you all at once; 
but He will by degrees, if you wait' 

* You mean, for instance,' said Rhoda, ' don't you, 
ma'am, that if a bad man wanted to marry one, one 
would know for certain God did not mean that?' 

* Yes ; and if God kept some one away from you, 
it would be probably for some such reason. And so 
when are thinking of the time when you may be 
getting married, I should like you to resolve first and 
foremost never to choose for your husband, or even 
your lover, one who did not love and fear God. If 
you did, you could never expect to be happy. I 
could tell you sad stories of women who have married 
thus against their conscience, hoping to win their 
husbands to believe and think as they did, and who 
have learnt their bitter mistake. I could tell you of 
the love that was vowed at the altar dying out little 



®n jjUamage. 51 



by little ; of bitter words taking the place of sweet 
ones ; of neglect and ill-usage ; and all because a 
wilful girl had once listened to the desires of her own 
heart, and not to the voice of God. 

* Ah ! it makes me tremble for girls when I hear 
them laughing and joking over what may make them 
happy or miserable for the whole of their lives here, 
and perhaps even for ever. Believe me, when I say 
that marriage is a subject to be prayed over, not 
laughed over. 

* There is another thing, too, I should like you to 
remember in "looking out," as it is called, for a 
husband, — a man's character and disposition. For 
instance, there are few things that make so many 
unhappy marriages as a bad temper. Now a man 
whom you know quarrels with his father and mother, 
his brothers and sisters, is not likely to prove a good 
husband, or make you a happy home. I should like 
you, then, to ask yourselves some such questions as 
these before you venture on what is called " keeping 
company " with any one : — Is he likely to make me a 
good husband ? Does he love and fear God ? Is he 
bad-tempered ? Does he waste his time and his money 
at the public-house? Does he drink or swear (not when 
he is in my company, but with others) ? Is he well 
spoken of by his neighbours, or has he a bad name ? 
Ah ! if girls were to set themselves seriously to answer 
honestly such questions as these, — if they were to stop 
and think what they were doing — stop and pray over 
it — there would not be so many hasty and unhappy 
marriages. 



52 IkaU^^outH btt]^ m» 6ivU. 

* You have often heard the old proverb, " Marry in 
haste and repent at leisure," and it is the history, 
and a very sad one, of many marriages. A girl meets 
some one by chance who takes her fancy, admires her, 
says pleasant things to her; meets him again and 
again out walking, and so goes on little by little, till, 
perhaps, never having seen him at home, or among 
his own people, and knowing nothing of his real self, 
she promises to marry him. Well, they get married, 
and then she finds out that he is a very different fellow 
in his work-a-day suit from what he was in his " Sun- 
day best." Plain speaking put on with plain clothes ; 
and instead of wanting a rose for his button-hole, 
wanting a well-cooked dinner, and a clean-swept 
hearth. Ah, you must know your husband thoroughly 
well before marriage, if you want to be happy after, — 
know him in his working clothes as well as in his 
Sunday ones, know him at home as well as abroad. 
You would not go into a shop and buy a piece of stuff 
for a dress without having looked it well over, pulled 
and stretched it to see if the fabric was strong and 
good, — asked the price, and whether it would wash or 
not. You would take care not to buy a dress in a 
hurry, without knowing what you had got for your 
money ; and yet you would choose your husband, 
not knowing a bit what you'd got, or whether you had 
made a good or a bad bargain of it. 

* But there is one more thing I would remind you 
of in taking care that you don't go the way to get a 
bad husband, — ^take care you don't go the way to 
make a bad wife. 



®n i&axti&zt. 53 



* Learn everything you can, learn to cook, to wash, 
to do needlework, to be clever and handy at every- 
thing, from sweeping a room to darning a stocking. 
Learn to keep your temper, your money, and your 
health ; learn to read your Bible, and by God's grace 
to grow into a " virtuous woman," for then only can 
you become "a crown to your husband," and the centre 
of a happy home. 

* But, hark ! ' said Mrs. Wykeham, * what with our 
letters, and my own thoughts on the subject, we have 
let three quarters of an hour slip away, — so out with 
your books and write : — 

* Sunday y April igtk. 

* Subject. — Marriage. 

* Lesson. — True marriages are made in heaven. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

ON TRUSTWORTHINESS. 

Mrs. Wykeham had several times said to the 
girls, * I want you to get into the way of thinking of 
subjects for yourselves a little more, and not leaving 
all the trouble to me ;' but each time they had 
laughed and declared they * never could think of 
anything at all.' 

* Now, Olive,' Mrs. Wykeham said at last, * I don't 
mean to think of a single subject more till you have 
found me one yourselves — so tell the others so.' 

* Oh, dear !* sighed Jane, when Olive told her, * we 
shall never get on at that rate.' 

However, they resolved to talk it over and try. 

* It does seem stupid,' said Rhoda ; * for really we 
are thinking of something or other all day long, and 
I believe Mrs. Wykeham can make talks out of any- 
thing, whatever we might choose.' 

* That reminds me,' said Olive, * of my sister who 
died. She once said we could find a text in the Bible 
for anything ; so just to puzzle her, I said, " Then find 
one for air." " The wind bloweth where it listeth," she 
answered ; " the wind is air, only moving." ' 

* That would be a nice thing to try and do some 
Sunday afternoon,' exclaimed Kitty. 



®n CruKtborti^tneiiil. 55 

* Yes/ said Olive ; * Mrs. Wykeham lets the 
children find texts like that on Sundays, and they 
call it — the Sunday Game.' 

Now Mrs. Wykeham having told the girls to think 
of a subject for themselves, had told them at the same 
time to write it on a piece of paper, and leave it in 
her dressing-room in the course of the next day or 
two, that she might have time to think it over herself. 
Accordingly on Wednesday afternoon, when she went 
up to her room to dress for a walk, she found on 
her table a paper, on which the girls had written, 
not one, but four subjects. She took it up and 
read : * Trustworthiness ; Truth ; Honour to Parents ; 
Honesty.* 

* Well done, Rhoda,' she said, on passing her as 
she left her room, * you have indeed given me plenty 
to think of ; but that I shall not mind, for I am glad 
to see you can sometimes think for yourselves, so I 
will take each one in turn.' 

' We thought, ma'am,' said Rhoda, stopping, broom 
in hand, * that we'd each put down one : mine was 
Truth ; Olive's was Honour to Parents ; and Kitty 
and Jane made out the other two between them.' 

* Well, you will see what I shall make of it next 
Sunday.* 

*I wonder which Mrs. Wykeham will choose first?' 
said Rhoda to Olive on her way down. * I was quite 
disappointed when I found Kitty and Jane had chosen 
Trustworthiness : because it seems so like mine, 
Truth.' 

* I don't think Mrs. Wykeham will say so,' an- 



56 l^aiyt^ouxi bitl^ mo 6ixU. 

swered Olive, 'though they seem mixed up some- 
how ; but I expect that she will disentangle them/ 
The girls were in their jplaces next Sunday before 
Mrs. Wykeham had come in, for they were very curious 
as to which of their subjects she would choose for 
to-day. 

* I hope it will be mine,' said Rhoda ; * and some- 
how I fancy it will. I wonder if she will ask us to 
look in the Bible for any one who was trustworthy or 
not, as she did about the " object in life." ' 

* Let's think of some at any rate,' said Olive. * I 
know one already,' she added, * the man who traded 
with his lord's money.' . 

*Oh, of course!' answered Kitty; * and the one 
who hid it wasn't to be trusted. I never could see 
why he hid it in the ground and didn't at least put it 
in the savings-bank?' 

* Savings-banks weren't invented then, I suppose,* 
said Jane. 

* Oh ! but they were though !' said Kitty ; ' don't 
you remember the master asked him why he hadn't 
put his money in the bank, that at his coming he 
might receive the same with usury ? only I don't 
know what usury is.' 

* I do,' said Olive, * our clergyman's wife explained 
it to us one day in school — it means interest, like one 
gets at the bank : but here is Mrs. Wykeham.* 

'Trustworthiness,' began she, when they were 
settled, * is what we will talk about to-day. It is, I 
think, Rhoda's subject, so she shall tell me what it 
means.' 



iSn Cnts^ttDortl^itU)^)^. 57 

'Worthy to be trusted, I suppose/ answered Rhoda, 
adding, ' I read that in a book.' 

' Yes/ answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * but we must, 
as we used to say to our governess when we were 
children, " boil it down " more still, that we may 
"get all the goodness," ' added she, smiling, *out of 
the word itself first. Can you give me some other 
word that will express the meaning of " trust ?" * 

* When you trust any one,* answered Kitty, * you 
depend on them.* 

' Yes ; and I think that is the meaning of a trust- 
worthy person, a person you can depend upon. Now, 
I want you to think a minute, and tell me of some 
qualities that go towards making a person trust- 
worthy, or to be depended upon.' 

'They must be truthful, ma'am,* said Rhoda; *and 
I was saying to Olive I didn*t see what difference 
there was between truth and trustworthiness/ 

*A person to be trustworthy must certainly be 
truthful/ answered Mrs. Wykeham; 'and yet a person 
maybe truthful without being completely trustworthy. 
For instance, I know somebody, — I won't mention 
names,* added Mrs. Wykeham, with a smile and a 
side-glance at Kitty, 'upon whose truthfulness I 
could thoroughly rely ; and yet if I were, for instance, 
to tell her to be sure and take the kettle off the fire 
at four o'clock, I am afraid I could not be at all sure 
that the kettle would not be spluttering and boiling 
over at a quarter past four, while somebody would 
run in from the scullery, crying out, "Oh, I quite 
forgot!"' 



58 l^alU^ouxi btt]^ mp 6itU. 

. * I know that's me/ said Kitty, laughing and 
blushing ; * and I see one mustn't be giddy and forget, 
if people are to trust one.' 

* Well done, Kitty ! ' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; 
' knowing our faults is half way to amending them. 
So we will add to truth the quality of thoughtfulness, 
for if we thought a little more we shouldn't forget. 
Now about truth I will talk to you another time, as 
we have it on our list ; but speaking of want of 
thought, or carelessness, which is the same thing, I 
must tell you of a sad story I read the other day in 
the papers. A little nursery-maid of fourteen was out 
walking in one of the . London parks in charge of a 
little boy of three or four years old, whom she was 
wheeling along in a perambulator. The poor little 
child was only half-witted, or what they call in 
Scotland " an innocent." It happened that he had a 
long white scarf tied round his neck, which by some 
unfortunate chance became entangled in the wheel of 
the perambulator. I suppose the little girl was look- 
ing about her at all the people passing, and perhaps 
at the flowers and green grass, which may have been 
a treat to her eyes ; but somehow she never perceived 
that as the perambulator was wheeled on, the scarf 
was pulled tighter and tighter round the child's neck, 
till the poor little thing became black in the face with 
strangulation. A passer-by rushed up, and cutting 
the scarf, set the child free ; but it was too late, the 
poor little thing died a few minutes after.' 

*Oh, how dreadful!' exclaimed Olive, * what did 
they do to her ?' 



®n W'Xnitbov^intfii. 59 

* They did nothing, for every one knew that she 
was as much distressed and horrified at it as any- 
body else could be, and that it was owing "only to 
carelessness." Ah ! if we thought a little more of 
that "only," we should not hear of such terrible 
accidents/ 

*How could she be so careless?* asked Olive, 
who, from having the children always with her, 
seemed to take the story to heart most of all. 

* I daresay she asked herself the same question 
over and over again, with bitter tears and sorrow,* 
remarked Mrs. Wykeham ; * but then it was too late. 
We can only hope that the terrible lesson was one 
she will never forget, and that she will grow up a 
thoughtful and trustworthy woman.* 

* It does seem hard upon her,* said Kitty ; * so 
many girls are careless, and don*t get such a terrible 
punishment as that. It will make me more afraid of 
forgetting and being careless than ever I was. I 
never thought anything so dreadful could come just 
of not thinking, and looking about.' 

* Now, can you think,* continued Mrs. Wykeham, 
*of anything else that is required to make a trust- 
worthy person ?* 

*They must keep their promises,* said Jane. 
* Father once signed his name for some money for 
some one who promised to pay him back, but he 
never did ; and I remember father saying he*d never 
trust any one again after being treated so by a 
friend.' 

* That shows we must choose trustworthy friends ; 



6o Jk^lU^ontu ini^ m$ 6ixU. 

doesn't it ?' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and you see that 
to be trustworthy a person must be honourable ; 
they must keep their promises, pay their debts, and 
never willingly deceive any one. If they are servants, 
they must serve their masters and mistresses, not 
with eye-service, but as servants of God, doing- 
behind their backs what they would do before their 
faces. You know the story of the little girl who said„ 
** Since I became a Christian, I always sweep under 
the mats." ' 

* May I ask something, ma'am ?' said Jane. 
* Wasn't the unjust steward an untrustworthy man ?' 

* Yes, certainly ; for he cheated his master, to 
make friends of his creditors. Now, can you think 
of a thoroughly faithful, trustworthy steward or over- 
seer ?' 

* Oh, Joseph!' answered Olive quickly. 

* Yes ; his master gave him all his household and 
everything to see after, and never asked any ques- 
tions ; and yet you remember Joseph was only bought 
by him as a slave ; he didn't come with a ready-made 
character ; his master knew nothing about him at 
first, but finding that he could always depend upon 
him he gave everything into his hand, and the Lord 
prospered them both.' 

* I almost wonder Joseph was so faithful,* said 
Kitty. 

' Why ?' asked Mrs. Wykeham. 

* Because, ma'am, after all, his master had na 
right to him as a slave at all, for his brothers oughtn't 
to have sold him, to begin with.* 



®n Cntj^tloortl^meKK. 6i 

* Joseph • knew that we must do what is right 
wherever we are/ answered Mrs. Wykeham, ' because 
it is God who places us there. Do you remember 
what he said to his brethren about that ?' 

* No/ answered the girls, after looking in vain at 
each other for an answer. 

* Turn to the forty-fifth chapter of Genesis, and 
the fifth and sixth verses : " God sent me/' he says to 
his brethren ; and in those words you will find the 
best motive for trustworthiness as you go about 
your daily work. " God sends me," say to yourself, 
and then, like Joseph, you will serve with " all good 
fidelity/' and be " faithful servants " to both God and 
man.' 

So saying, Mrs. Wykeham closed the Bible, and 
the girls took out their books and pencils to write. 
Kitty, who had finished first, held up her book, where 
she had written : * To be trustworthy, we must be 
truthful, thoughtful, and honourable / but Mrs. Wyke- 
ham, peeping over Olive's shoulder, read what she 
thought a better lesson, — 

* Sunday y April 26th. 

' Subject. — Trustworthiness. 

* Lesson. — To be faithful in all things.* 



CHAPTER IX. 

ON CHARACTER. 

• 

The Monday following, Mrs. Wykeham received a 
letter from a friend of hers, Mrs. Carleton, asking if 
it would be convenient to let her pay a long promised 
visit to Blacklands, as she should be passing by on 
the following Wednesday ; and adding, that she hoped 
to be allowed to bring her little daughter Mabel with 
her, and the nursery-maid, Rose. 

* I would not bring the latter if Mabel could do 
without her,* she wrote, * as, I am sorry to say, she has 
a most sulky, disagreeable temper, and I am shortly 
parting with her. However, I know how fond you 
are of naughty girls, and I shall let you see if you can 
make anything of her.' 

Mrs. Wykeham was only too delighted to hear 
that her friend, who was a great invalid, could at last 
come to see her, and set about at once making ar- 
rangements for her rooms to be got ready. 

* Little Miss Carleton will have her meals in the 
nursery, Olive,* said she when she went upstairs, * and 
Rose as well,* she added ; * so please tell nurse, when 
she comes in.' 

Olive had been to the same school as Rose, Mrs. 



(®n Ci^atacttr. 63 



Carleton's nursery-maid, so she already knew some- 
thing about her. 

* I wonder whether she is as cross as ever/ thought 
Olive ; ' I know I couldn't bear her, but I ought not 
to think so unkindly of her, after all, for mother used 
to tell me that she had some excuse for speaking 
short, for she never heard any but short words at 
home ; and I'm sure she is to be pitied with that 
mother of hers. I wonder if Mrs. Wykeham will let 
her come to our afternoon talk next Sunday. I'll ask 
her if she would like it' 

Accordingly, when Rose arrived and had been 
shown the little attic next to Rhoda's, where she was 
to sleep, — for Mabel Carleton slept with her mother, — 
Olive asked if she would like to come ? 

' I'm sure I don't know,' answered Rose, bluntly ; 
'besides Mrs. Wykeham won't want me; mistress 
IS glad enough to keep me out of her way, I 
know.' 

* Why ?' asked Olive, wonderingly. 

* Oh, I'm sure I don't know,' answered Rose, * ex- 
' cept that she can't bear the sight of me : and what's 

more, I'm to leave to-day three weeks.* 

Olive couldn't help thinking that if Rose's mistress 
couldn't bear the sight of her, at least Rose herself 
wasn't a very pleasant sight to see, with a sullen pout 
on her lips and a frown on her brow. 

* Mother used to say,' began Olive as usual, but 
stopped, thinking Rose might not like to hear what 
mother used to say. 

'Well, what.?' asked Rose, gruffly. 



64 Ikaiy^outii b^U^ m0 6itU. 



* Well, that we must go to the glass to see if we 
should meet with welcome.* 

* What did she mean ?' inquired Rose. 

* Well, mother said I must think over it, for what 
we didn't ponder on we shouldn't remember ; but I 
found out next day, and I'll you how it was. Miss 
Evelyn — that's our Squire's daughter — was passing 
our door, and peeped in with the smile she always 
has, and a merry good-morning to mother. " I can't 
stay to-day," she said ; " but I just looked in to catch 
a sight of you." " Catch a sight of me," said mother, 
when she was gone; "she'd better catch a sight of 
herself. Bless her smiling face ; it does one's heart 
good to look at it. She's sure of a welcome, go where 
she may." So then I understood mother — that a 
happy, smiling face like hers made any one welcome, 
for it brought sunshine with it' 

* Do you know,' continued Olive, * Mrs. Wykeham 
once told us that people's lives were written on their 
faces, and that there was some old proverb about it. 
Anyhow, I'll ask her to let you come next Sunday.' 
And so saying, Olive went back to the nursery. 

Sunday came, and at the time appointed the five 
girls, for Mrs. Wykeham had gladly admitted Rose, 
took their seats as usual. 

*It was your subject last Sunday,' she said, 'and 
I told you what I had chosen for mine to-day. It 
was to be on Character.' 

* And you'll tell us, won't you, ma'am,' interposed 
Olive, * how people's characters or lives, as you said, 
could be written on their faces ?* 



(Sn Ci^aracttr. 65 



* Certainly I will, if we've time ; but I almost doubt 
it to-day/ answered Mrs. Wykeham. * But, first of all, 
what is a person's character ? * 

* What they get when they leave a place, ma'am ; 
isn't it ?' asked Jane. 

* That's one kind of character, certainly ; but I 
hope I have a good character, and yet I am not likely 
to go to service,' said Mrs. Wykeham, smiling. 

* Isn't it what people think of one, ma'am ? ' asked 
Rhoda. 

* Not exactly,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * for they are 
sometimes mistaken. I should rather say, our cha- 
racter is what we are. For instance, if a man is a 
thief, we say he is a dishonest character.' 

* Oh, and if he is a drunkard, or wicked,' said Kitty, 
* people say he has a bad character.' 

* Exactly,' said Mrs. Wykeham. * Now there are 
two kinds of character ; what are they ? * 

* Good and bad,' answered Jane. 

* Yes ; good qualities, such as trustworthiness, 
truth, honesty, good temper, go to make up a good 
character, while exactly the contrary go to make a bad 
one. What does Solomon say of a good character, or 
a good name, as he calls it ?' 

* " A good name is rather to be chosen than great 
riches ;" it begins a chapter in the Proverbs,' 
answered Rose, rather to Mrs. Wykeham's surprise, 
who had not expected her to be the one to answer. 

* Well done. Rose,* she said ; * I see you haven't 
forgotten your Bible.' 

Rose coloured with pleasure, for to tell the truth 

F 



66 IkaUf^ouxi b>ii^ m^ &ixU. 

it was not very often that she found herself 
praised. 

' So you see a good name is more precious than 
gold. Why, do you think .?' 

'Because it helps one to get on in the world, 
ma'am ?' asked Rhoda. 

'No !' said Mrs. Wykeham. 

' Because when we lose it it is so difficult to get 
again ?* asked Jane. 

' Yes ; that is nearer the mark. A good character 
is so precious, it cannot be bought ; it cannot even be 
given, and when once lost, it is the hardest thing in 
the world to regain. Now I think that girls, aye, and 
boys too, are apt first to undervalue this precious 
"good name;" and, secondly, to feel hurt if people 
cannot give them what they have taken no trouble to 
gain. I have known, for example, a girl come to me 
and say, " Please, ma'am, I want a place, and I hope 
you will speak for me, and give me a good character." 
" That depends on yourself," I always say. " Have you 
made yourself a good name to begin with, so that I 
can speak for you ? Neither I nor any one else c^xigive 
you a good character if you have not first earned it 
for yourself." ' 

' I never thought of it in that way, ma'am,' said 
Rose ; ' and I was wondering what mistress will say 
of me when I leave.' 

'I am sure,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 'if you have 
proved yourself a good, honest, obliging servant, she 
will willingly say so.' 

' She can't say I'm not honest,' thought Rose to 



®n Cl^aracter. 67 



herself, though she made no answer ; * but I don't 
know about obliging/ 

* Then, again,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, * girls are 
hurt if their mistresses cannot say more than the real 
truth, and will not see that it is their own fault if the 
character is not a good one. I will give you an 
example of this. A girl whom I will call Clara May, 
went as a first place to a farm-house, to help the 
farmer's wife, Mrs. White, and make herself generally 
useful. After she had been there some months, I 
went to ask Mrs. White how she was getting on. 
" I don't think I shall ever make anything of her," she 
said ; " she is so giddy and careless, and doesn't mind 
a single thing I say. If she doesn't mend, I must 
really send her home." A month after, I met her in 
the lane. "Well, Clara," said I, " how come you here ?" 
" Mrs. White couldn't make anything of me," she said, 
" and sent me home ; " and that was all she said after 
having thrown away her first chance of making to 
herself a good name. Of course when Mrs. White 
refused to recommend her, Clara was angry and 
blamed her former mistress. " I'm sorry for the girl, 
ma'am," said Mrs. White to me ; " but how could I 
say she was to be trusted when I couldn't leave her 
to look after the smallest thing : or that she was 
clean and tidy, when she would come down looking 
like a wild thing. I couldn't tell a falsehood, how- 
ever willing I might be not to stand in her light." ' 

*I never thought of it in that way,' said Rose 
again. 

' But besides the character that a servant wins, we 



68 IkAUf^onxi b>iti) mvf &ixU. 

all have a character or disposition of our own by 
nature/ continued Mrs. Wykeham. 

* Do you mean that some people are passionate by 
nature and some not, and that sort of thing, ma'am ?' 
said Olive. 

* Yes, I do, and it is generally this character or 
disposition that gets written on our faces. You all 
know people whose faces tell of good nature, and 
others who always look sullen and miserable.' 

* People can't help being what they're made, can 
they ?' asked Rose, who rather took this last remark 
to herself, though Mrs. Wykeham had not the least 
intended it. 

' I can't help it, because I was born so, is a very 
common excuse,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * but it is a 
very wrong one. By God's grace we can conquer our 
evil nature, as the Catechism teaches us ; and with 
His help we must try. But, hark ! there is actually 
the clock striking, and though I have plenty more I 
should like to say to you on this subject, we must 
really stop for to-day, and you shall get your books 
and write what you think is to-day's lesson.' 

Olive, who had finished first, held up her book, 
where she had written, — 

^ Sunday y May ^rd, 

* Subject. — On Character. 

* Lesson. — A good name is better than great riches.' 



CHAPTER X. 

ON DUTY TO PARENTS. 

* I THINK it was you, Kitty, who wrote on your 
paper " Honour to parents ; " wasn*t it ?'* began Mrs. 
Wykeham, when the girls found themselves next 
assembled in her room. 

* Yes, ma'am,' answered Kitty. 

* Well, then, I think we must alter the title of this 
subject a little, and call it " Our duty to our parents," 
because you see honour is only part of what we owe 
them, and I should like to consider it all. What 
does the Catechism tell us is our duty to them ?' 

*To love, honour, and obey,' answered Kitty, 
quickly. 

* No, Kitty ; think again.' 

*0h, no ! Of course to love, honour, and succour 
them,' she answered, correcting herself. 

* Well, then,' said Mrs. Wykeham, ' I think it will 
be our easiest plan to take our duty to them in the 
words in which we find it there. Why do you think 
that love is put first } ' 

'Because we ought to love them?' asked Jane, 
who was always rather slow at catching the meaning 
of a question. 



70 ^silU^onvi b>it^ mp &ixU. 

* No, you do not quite answer my question/ said 
Mrs. Wykeham, gently ; * I said, why is love put 

^rsl f not why is it put at all.* 

* Because it will make the rest easy, ma'am ? ' 
asked Rhoda. 

* Yes, just so,' was the answer. * If you really love 
anybody, you feel you cannot do too much for them ; 
and you may observe that the Catechism does not even 
mention the word obey, as if to say that when a child 
loves and honours its parent it will obey them as a 
matter of course. Mind, I say honour as well as love ; 
because the two must go together to make a willing 
obedience. Now let us think, first, of some of the 
reasons why we should especially love our parents.' 

* Because they did so much for us when we were 
little ?' asked Rhoda. 

* Yes, that is one very strong reason,* answered 
Mrs. Wykeham ; * and yet it is one that is often for- 
gotten. When you think how your mother carried 
you about and fed you, took care of you and spent 
many a sleepless night with you when you were a 
little helpless child ; how you turned to her in every 
sickness, in every trouble ; think now bitter it would 
be to her now to feel that it was all forgotten, and 
that she was littlfe more than a stranger to you. 
And yet I have known girls fling away a mother's 
anxious love, with some such thoughtless words as 
these : " Oh ! it's only mother ; she's always bother- 
ing about something or other," when "mother" 
begged them to take care of their health, for in- 
stance, or not to stay out walking late in the evening. 



®n But^ to 9arent£{. 71 

Fancy such a mother saying, " Ah ! when my girl 
was but a child she would be always after me, want- 
ing to be up on my lap and be nursed, and if ever 
she was ill, she*d be crying out for mother all day 
long ; but now things are very different, and mother 
is the last person she'll pay any heed to." And yet 
such words as these are very much what some mo- 
thers have said to me when I've asked them why 
they haven't prevented their daughter from doing so 
and so. Ah, girls ! if ever you've slighted a mother's 
advice, if ever you've been impatient of her control, 
remember the day may come when you may long to 
have a mother's breast against which to lean your 
aching head, and long in vain ; may hunger for a 
sight of the face that you turn from now so thought- 
lessly, and hunger in vain.' 

As Mrs. Wykeham spoke, almost carried away 
by her own earnestness, and stirred perhaps by some 
memories of the past, she noticed Olive's eyes fill 
with tears, and knew that she at least had learnt the 
value of a mother's love. 

* Do all you may,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, 
* you can never fully repay the love and care of all 
those past years.' 

' My mother didn't seem much like that to us,' 
said Rose, turning round to Olive, and half speaking 
to her. 

* Didn't she take care of you when you were a 
baby, and feed, and clothe, and nurse you. Rose ?' 

* Oh, yes ; of course she did that, ma'am,' an- 
swered Rose. 



72 IksilUf^owci b>it^ mg &ixU. 

* Then, of course/ said Mrs. Wykeham, * you 
ought to be thankful to her for it, and if she does 
say sharp words to you sometimes, now that you're 
older, no doubt if you showed her more love and 
care, you would in return get from her more of the 
affection that she showed you when you were a little 
child. I believe that love comes back to us just in 
proportion to what we give out.' 

* Do you mean, ma'am,' asked Rhoda, ' that 
if a person loves everybody, everybody loves them ?' 

* That is exactly what I do mean,' answered 
Mrs. Wykeham. * I never knew any one so hard 
but what love would soften them. Love is like a 
fire, lit from heaven, which we must all keep burning 
in our homes, to warm and soften them ; and I 
always think that it is the mother or mistress of the 
home whose special work it is to keep that fire alight. 
I try and find sticks for our home-fire every day, I 
assure you. Don't any of you be the one, by cross 
words and sullen looks, to throw cold water on it,* 
added Mrs. Wykeham, smiling. 

* I'm sure we won't,' said Olive ; and, indeed, Mrs. 
Wykeham thought, as she smiled back in answer, * If all 
were like 'Olive, the home-fire would be kept alight' 

* But to return to our subject, which began with 
love to our parents.' 

' And ended with love to everybody, ma'am,* said 
Kitty, laughing ; * that was Rhoda's fault' 

* Well,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * love can't spread 
too far, but our thoughts may ; so let us bring them 
back to what comes next on the list* 



<Sn fiut^ to l^Axmti. 73 

* To honour/ said Rhoda. 

* And what does honour mean ?' 

* To respect/ said Jane, while Olive answered, 

* To reverence.' 

* Yes, it means both,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, 

* and we must both respect and reverence our 
parents.' 

* But how can we, ma'am,' broke in Rose, * when — ' 
but stopped, not liking to say what was in her own 
mind — namely, that it was rather difficult to respect 
and honour a scolding mother and a drunken father. 

* I know what you would say. Rose, and I will 
talk to you a little afterwards, and try and explain 
your difficulty,' said Mrs. Wykeham, who thought 
that it would be better to answer this question when 
she was alone with Rose. 

* You are to respect their wishes,* continued Mrs. 
Wykeham, * and reverence them as those whom God 
has placed over you. The Bible gives only one 
exception to this rule. What is it, Olive ? Do you 
know?' 

*Yes, ma'am/ said Olive, * because I learnt it at 
Sunday school. It says " in the Lord/' and that 
means that we mustn't obey them when they tell 
us to do what is wrong, but we must honour and obey 
God first of all' 

'Yes/ said Mrs. Wykeham, *and when it says 
" obey/' what does it mean ?' 

* Why, that we must do as we're bid,' said Kitty, 
rather astonished at Mrs. Wykeham asking such a 
simple question. 



74 )&aItr|^our£{ b>it^ m^ &ixU. 

* And yet/ continued Mrs. Wykeham, * do you 
girls always do what father or mother tell you? 
I'm afraid not ; at least when their opinion happens 
to differ from yours. "Now I'm grown up I've a 
right to choose for myself," I've heard girls say ; but 
they are mistaken in thinking that being grown up 
gives them a right to refuse to listen to the advice or 
wishes of their parents. St. Paul, when he says, 
" Children, obey your parents," does not add " till you 
are sixteen or seventeen, and after that you need not 
pay any heed to them ; " and yet one would think that 
some children believed that to be the case, to judge 
by their actions. I don't think that you four girls 
are likely to be so thoughtless of the wishes of your 
parents as some I have known, so we will pass on 
to consider the last point* 

Mrs. Wykeham had purposely avoided including 
Rose among the others when she spoke, fearing that 
the wishes of her parents were of very little conse- 
quence to her. 

* What is the last word we come to?* she repeated. 

* To succour, ma'am,' said Jane ; * but I never did 
know what it meant.' 

* Nor I,' said Kitty ; ' I thought to succour meant 
to save.' 

*It means to help or care for, too,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham. * How can you help your parents, do you 
think .? ' 

* By sending them part of our wages,' answered 
Olive, readily. * At least I try to send mother some- 
thing every quarter.' 



®n fiutp to Jj^Axmti. 75 

* Do you, Olive ? ' said Rhoda, in astonishment, 
for she knew that Olive's wages weren't as high 
as her own, and she never thought of sending any 
home. 

* Yes,' answered Olive ; * at first I used to send 
mother a present, and then I found I didn't always 
choose what she wanted most, so now I send her a 
post-office order for the money.* 

* I think that is wisest, Olive,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham, * as mother has not father now to look to, and 
all you young ones are growing up.' 

'No, since father died, ma'am,' said Olive, *she 
often says it is a sore struggle to get along.' 

* You each must think for yourselves,' continued 
Mrs. Wykeham, * how best to help your fathers and 
mothers. Some girls help most by staying at home 
to be a comfort there ; some by going out and helping, 
as Olive does, by their wages — some in one way and 
some in another ; but to each one of us the command 
is clear, and those who most faithfully and lovingly 
serve their heavenly Father will be the ones to best 
love, honour, and obey the earthly father and mother 
whom He has placed over them. Now write what 
you have to put down in your books and leave them 
for me to look over presently, for I want a word with 
Rose.' 

When the girls had closed their books, after a 
few minutes' pause, and laid them together for Mrs. 
Wykeham to see, they all left the room except Rose, 
whom she desired to stay behind. 

* Well, my poor child,' she said, kindly laying her 



76 IkalU^onvi bttl^ mp &ivU. 

hand on Rose's shoulder, * now tell me what you 
meant to say when you stopped just now.* 

* Oh, ma'am!' said Rose, bursting into tears, *you 
don't know what my home is like, nor father and 
mother — nobody could mind what they say ; and as 
for loving father, I'm that terrified at him, I always 
get out of his way as quick as ever I can.' 

* I quite understand. Rose,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 
'about your home being a very sad one, for your 
clergyman, Mr. Morris, once spoke to me about you, 
and said what a hard time you had of it ; but. 
Rose, tell me did you ever try to be a good daughter 
yourself?' 

* Well, no,' said Rose, hanging her head, ' I can't 
say I ever did.' 

* Well, then, promise me that when you go home 
you will try, that you will do little things to help 
mother, say pleasant words to father instead of 
running away from him, try and light that home-fire 
we were talking of. You will be astonished to see 
how it will burn up if you will only persevere. You 
keep your part of the Commandment, and perhaps 
you will find out some day that father and mother 
have a soft place in their heart for you after all. 
And now let us see what the others have written,' and 
Mrs. Wykeham took up Rhoda's book, and read : — 

' Sunday y May lotk. 

* Subject. — Duty to Parents. 

* Lesson. — To love, honour, and succour my father 

and mother.' 



CHAPTER XL 

ON SERVICE. 

' I AM rather puzzled to know what to do with Rose/ 
said Mrs. Carleton to Mrs. Wykeham, next morning, 
' for you know I am leaving here to-morrow, and just 
as I was making arrangements to send her home, I 
got a letter from the clergyman of the parish, saying 
she must on no account be allowed to come, as her 
two sisters have scarlet fever. I really don't know 
what to do with the girl, for you see I am going 
abroad almost directly.' 

' Oh, never mind,' exclaimed Mrs. Wykeham, ' I 
will gladly keep her on here for the present, as I am 
really interested in her. I can't help thinking that 
with that miserable home the poor child has really 
never had a chance.* 

* Yes, I often thought of that,* said Mrs. Carleton, 
* and I tried to keep her on with me ; but being always 
ill myself I am not able to look after her as much as 
is necessary, and she set Mabel such a bad example ; 
besides I must have some one I can thoroughly 
trust.' 

' Perhaps you expect too much from so young a 
girl,' answered Mrs. Wykeham; *we can't put old 
heads upon young shoulders. She wants to be under 



78 IksilU^onxi lottl^ mp &ixU. 

an older servant who will take pains with her, and 
show her how to do her work well and thoroughly ; for, 
after all, though we as mistresses talk a good deal 
about training young servants, yet the trouble mostly 
falls on the upper servants themselves, and it is them 
whom we must enlist in the cause. I shall try and get 
my good nurse to take her in hand, and see what she 
can make of hen* 

' Well, I am sure,' answered her friend, * I, for my 
part, shall only be too thankful to know she is under 
your care for the present' 

And so it was settled, and Rose was to help Olive 
in the nursery under Mrs. Davis, the nurse. 

* I think the girl is willing enough, ma'am,' said 
she ; ' only her temper has been spoilt.' 

' Well, we must try and mend it by kindness,' said 
Mrs. Wykeham, * for you know what a miserable 
home she has, poor child!' 

*Yes, ma'am,' answered nurse, 'and ever since 
you told me I feel I can't be too patient with her, 
poor thing ! ' 

Mrs. Wykeham, on bidding good-bye to Mrs. 
Carleton, said, * You may make your mind quite easy 
about Rose ; for I shall consider her for the present 
my girl in training. You know I always have one on 
hand, generally from the village, who comes up when- 
ever there is any extra work to be done, and I find 
the upper servants take quite a pride in turning them 
out useful little servants ; for when they know enough, 
I send them out to service and take another one.' 

' That is, I am sure, a real kindness/ replied her 



(©n ^ttbict. 79 



friend; *and you really don't find your servants ob- 
ject to It?' 

* On the contrary/ answered Mrs. Wykeham, * they 
are most kind to the girls ; who, besides, soon get 
to be a real help to them, and an extra pair of hands 
is always welcome to them when they are busy.' 

Mrs. Wykeham had told the girls that the next 
Sunday's talk would be on Service, thinking that 
she might bring in a few hints that would be useful to 
Rose, now that she was making, as it were, a fresh start 

* Service,' she began the following Sunday ; * what 
does the word come from — do you think .?' 

* To serve, ma'am .?' asked Kitty. 

* Just so,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * are we all 
in service } ' she continued. . 

* Why, no, ma'am,' replied Kitty, quickly. 

* Yes, we are,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, smiling. 
* Who said, " One is your Master, even Christ ? " ' 

* Oh ! our Lord Himself,' said Olive, quickly. 

* Get your Bibles and find where it is. — In St 
Matthew,' she continued, * the 24th chapter and the 
8th verse. Do not lose the place, for you will have 
to refer to that chapter again. Well, then, you see 
we are all servants. If we are not servants of Christ, 
whose servants are we ?' 

* The Devil's,' answered Jane. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and a very solemn 
question it is, and one we ought each to ask ourselves : 
Am I serving Christ, or am I serving the Devil ? 

'Does the Bible say anything about our blessed 
Lord Himself being like a servant when on earth ?' 



8o ^siUi^onvi Mt^ mv 6ivU. 

* Yes/ answered Olive ; * in Philippians it says, 
" He took upon him the form of a servant." ' 

* Why ? ' asked Mrs. Wykeham. 

* I suppose to teach us to be humble/ said Kitty. 

* Yes ; and also, I think, to teach us that there is 
nothing degrading in being a servant, or like a ser- 
vant, as some people foolishly think. Do you re- 
member what our Lord said to His disciples : " If I 
then, your Lord and Master have washed your feet, 
ye ought also to wash one another's feet. For I have 
given you an example." An example by which He 
showed us that He thought no work, even the work of 
a servant, was beneath Him — to do for us. Shall we, 
then, think any work beneath us, that we can do for 
each other ?' 

*Then what do people mean, ma'am, please,' 
asked Rhoda, * when I've seen it in the papers, that 
they "will take any occupation that is not menial?"' 

* Those are generally the very people who think 
that work for others is degrading, or beneath them ; 
whereas work, of some kind, for other people, is 
the only thing that can make a man's life a really 
noble one, or a woman's either. We all have different 
work to do, but to each of us God gives some work ; 
and because mine is different from yours, it does not 
follow that yours is less noble in God's sight than 
mine.' 

* Only our work seems so common/ said Rhoda. 

* Ah ! but listen to what an old poet, called George 
Herbert, writes about your very work, sweeping and 
dusting, Rhoda. It begins, — 



®n S^vcbkt. 8 1 



* " Teach me, my God and King, 
In all things Thee to see ; 
And what I do in anything, 
To do it as for Thee." 

* And goes on, 

* " All may of Thee partake : 
Nothing can be so mean 
Which with this tincture (for Thy sake) 
Will not grow bright and clean. 

* " A servant with this clause, 
Makes drudgery divine ; 
Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws, 
Makes that and the action fine." 

*What does drudgery mean? do you know, 
Rhoda?' 

* No, ma'am,' said Rhoda. 

' It means common hard work — work that has to 
be done, and that nobody gets any thanks for ; and 
yet you see it may be divine work that God Himself 
will not disdain to look upon. What is the Prince 
of Wales' motto.?' she continued after a pause, * Do 
you know, either of you ?' 

* I have seen it written up,' said Rhoda ; * I saw it 
the night I went out to see the illuminations in Lon- 
don, on the Prince of Wales' birth-day, and there 
were those words and three feathers over them, all 
written out in fire.* 

Mrs. Wykeham smiled at Rhoda's description, 
which sounded very alarming. 

* V/ell, the meaning of the two words is, " I serve." 

G 



82 Jlalf^i^ourt; iutt|) out &ixU. 

So you see the Prince of Wales, who is always the 
eldest son of the King and Queen of England, does 
not think it beneath him to have a motto which might 
belong to any one of you.' 

* How did he come to have that motto, ma'am ?' 
asked Jane. 

* It is rather a curious story, but I will tell it you/ 
answered Mrs. Wykeham. * The motto belonged to 
a blind old King of Bohemia, who was killed in 
battle fighting against the English. The Prince of 
Wales, who was there too, knew that blind as he 
was, he had ordered two of his men to lead him into 
battle, one on each side of his horse, rather than turn 
his back on the enemy, and he was, I suppose, so 
struck with admiration for the old King's bravery, 
that he took for his own the motto which was found 
engraved upon his shield, "Ich dien," or I serve. 
From the highest to the lowest, we must all serve, 
not only God, but each other ; so when I hear a girl 
say she is going to service, I always ^ feel inclined to 
say, "You have always been in service; you are 
only going to a new place."' 

* Ah, but there is a difference, ma'am ; at least it 
generally feels different,' said Olive, * I mean* — ^but 
what she meant, Olive didn't seem to like to say. 

* Well, tell me,' said Mrs. Wykeham, looking at 
her encouragingly. 

* I mean that here it does seem like one's home, 
but in other places it doesn't ; but then that's because 
we don't only work for you just to get our wages, 
but ' 



(©n S^tvbict. 83 



'Well, but what, Olive?' 

* For love, too,' faltered Olive. 

*And that is what all true service should be — 
work for love ; " in love serve one another," said St. 
Paul. At home you serve for love ; here you serve 
not for love only, because you could not afford to do 
that, as you must earn your living too, but also for 
wages. Still, as I have said before, a really loving 
service is worth far more than money can pay.' 

* I never thought of it in that way ; I thought it 
was just that we were paid for doing things, and so 
we had to do them,' said Rose. 

* No, Rose, that would indeed be a degrading and 
an unworthy service. Love to God and love to man, 
if these are not at the root of your service, then, in- 
deed, it is " labour in vain." Now for the books. See, 
I will write the lesson this time, and you can 
copy it. 

* Sunday, May lyth, 

' Subject. — On Service. 

* Lesson, — Love to God working by love to man.' 



CHAPTER XII. 

ON GOING HOME. 

*Well, girls/ said Mrs. Wykeham, next Sunday — 
* where are you all four going to, on the first of 
June?' 

* Going home/ said Olive, with a smile, and her 
whole face lit up at the thought. 

They were all sitting under the great cedar-tree, 
for it was too hot to stay indoors, and Rose was not 
there, for Mrs. Wykeham had thought this week's 
subject would be a sad one for her, so had desired her 
to stay and play with the children. 

* Well/ she continued, * let us see if we can't team 
some lessons about going home, for I always like to 
choose for my subject something that is uppermost 
in your minds at the moment ; so we will consider 
first the good of going home, and then, if I may so 
call it, the dangers of going home.' 

* Dangers, ma'am ? ' said Olive, looking up in- 
quiringly. 

* Oh, I see you smile at the very idea, Olive ; but 
Satan generally manages to lay snares for us, even in 
the most unlikely places, and going home, as you 
will presently see, has special temptations of its own. 
But, first, what is the good of going home?' 



iBn doing llomr. 85 



* Oh, for a holiday ! ' exclaimed Kitty, ' and to 
see father and mother too,' she added. 

*Yes,' answered Mrs. Wykeham; *the thought 
of a holiday is a pleasant one to all of us who are 
workers. " Only a week to the holidays," says the 
school-boy, as he counted over the days on his 
fingers. " A holiday at the sea-side," says papa, 
and all the little ones shout for joy at the idea of 
escaping from town this hot weather. "A trip in 
the country on Whit Monday; that will be a 
holiday," says some tired mother of a large family. 
** Home for a holiday," say some of you girls ; and 
I can see by your smiling faces what you think of 
that. Now the good of going home for a holiday, 
besides the pleasure of seeing father, mother, and 
all of them again, is to have a little rest and change. 
I, too, am going away, and my holiday will be a rest 
from housekeeping — a rest from thinking all day 
long about other people's wants and work ; a change - 
that will freshen me up as much as I hope it will 
you, and make us all come back to work again with 
fresh strength and zest. What does the word zest 
mean, Olive?' 

* I don't know, ma'am, quite,' answered she. 
' Nor I either,' said Kitty. 

But Rhoda, looking up, asked, * Does it not mean 
something like zeal ?' 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * you know what I mean 
when I say that such or such a person is working 
very zealously in a good cause. It means working 
with all one's might. You must always ask me^' she 



S6 1^aXU1)onvi lotti^ ntD 6ivU. 

added, turning to the others, * when I let slip any 
word that you cannot understand, for I generally try 
to use simple ones, that you know the meaning of.* 

* Yes, ma'am,* said Rhoda ; * and we do know 
most times.* 

* And sometimes,* added Kitty, * we know what 
the words mean, only we can*t put it rightly into 
other words.* 

* Yes, I see that,* said Mrs. Wykeham ; * but then 
you must stop a minute and think, and the words 
will come. I remember, when I was young, I used 
often to say to my governess, when I wanted to 
make her understand something, just what you say 
now, " I know what I mean, but I can*t explain it." 
And her answer always was, " Get a piece of paper 
and a pencil, and write it down in half-a-dozen 
different ways, till you do explain it,*' and so at last, 
by thinking, I learnt to do it ; but I used to consider 
it very hard work. 

* That reminds me,* continued Mrs. Wykeham, 
*of what we were speaking of; namely, working 
"with our might.** > Who tells us to do that?' 

' Solomon,* answered Rhoda. 

* Tell me the verse,* said Mrs. Wykeham. 

* " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with 
thy might,*' * replied Rhoda. * It is in the Proverbs or 
the Ecclesiastes.* 

* You'd better get your Bibles and look,' continued 
Mrs. Wykeham, ' for that is the way you learn to 
search the Scriptures, and know where texts are 
to be found.' 



(Ba doing fkomt. 87 



* Ecclesiastes, ix. 10/ read Rhoda presently. 

* Well/ Mrs. Wykeham went on, * and as we are 
all apt to get tired of working with our might, these 
holidays are, as it were, " standing-still times," when 
we rest a bit, in order to work better and more 
zealously when we begin again. But we must all 
take care that our holidays, instead of being ** stand- 
ing-still times," are not times of backsliding as well. 
You know when a horse has been pulling a heavy 
load up-hill, perhaps half-way up, the driver lets 
him stand still to rest.' 

' Oh, yes, ma'am,' said Kitty, * and puts a stone 
under the cart-wheel to prevent its slipping back.' 

' Exactly,' replied Mrs. Wykeham. * Now fancy 
each of yourselves, that horse just going to pull up 
and rest a bit on the hill. I am the carter,' she 
continued, smiling, * and I am going to look out for a 
stone to put under your cart-wheel, to prevent your 
slipping backwards while you rest' 

The girls looked at each other and laughed, 
wondering what was coming next, as Mrs. Wykeham 
took a piece of paper and tore it into five strips. 
Then taking out her gold pencil-case, she screv/ed 
it up very slowly, wrote something on each strip of 
paper, saying, as she handed one to each of the girls, 
* There is the same sized stone for each wheel' 

On each piece of paper she had written one word, 
' Watch.' At first the girls looked very puzzled ; 
then Rhoda said, *Do you mean, ma'am, that we 
shan't be backsliding while we are at home if we 
remember to watch against any temptations ?' 



88 llalf^i^ourK bttl^ mp &ivU. 



' Exactly, Rhoda ; you have explained my 
thought, as well as I could myself/ answered Mrs. 
Wykeham. 

* What kinds of temptation, ma'am?* asked Olive 
thoughtfully. 

* Well, I will tell you some. For instance, when 
you go home, you each feel as if you were your own 
mistress to a certain extent, and no longer as 
much under the control of father and mother as 
you used to be ; perhaps you want to go somewhere 
that they do not approve of, or stay out later in the 
evening than they like; when you are tempted to 
behave like that — "put the stone under your cart- 
wheel, and watch." — Say to yourself, " I must obey 
father and mother as much now as ever." When 
you are tempted to do something which you feel 
your mistress would not allow you to do in her own 
house — to stay away from church on Sunday, to 
wear showy dresses, or to go about in a slovenly, un- 
tidy way — " put the stone under your cart-wheel, and 
watch." — ^When you are tempted to keep company 
with some one whom you feel would not be welcome 
at home or in your place at service — " put the stone 
under your cart-wheel, and watch." — ^When you are 
tempted to compare the ways of living with what 
you get here, to grumble at the food, because it may 
not be as well cooked, or the beds, because they 
are not soft ; to be fine and stuck-up, and so hurt 
the feelings of your parents — " put the stone under 
the cart-wheel, and watch " ' — 

' I know now what kind of things you mean, 



<@n 6otn2 llomr. 89 



ma'am/ said Rhoda. * I remember father scolding 
sister well, when she first came home from service, 
about that very thing, and he said, " If she was going 
to turn fine lady, and despise her old father and mother, 
she had better not come home at all ;'* and then there 
was Martha Jane used to go about the village, looking 
such a figure, when she was home for ' 

* Never mind about Martha Jane. I would rather 
you minded about Rhoda,' said Mrs. Wykeham, who 
did not encourage the girls ever to tell tales of one 
another, or of their neighbours. * There is a little book,* 
she continued, taking one up from the table, *out 
of which I should like to read you a chapter about 
going home» It is the story of a girl called Ellen 
Winkworth ; it is all about her first place, and how 
she got on in it ; but here in this chapter, we have 
the account of her going home after two years' 
service. It is getting late, so I can only read you 
part of it ; but listen to this. 

' " Here you are at last," called out brother Joe, 
as the carrier's cart stopped at the little wicket-gate 
she knew so well. "Hurrah for old Nell!" he 
shouted, as flying down the garden-path he caught 
her by the waist and swung her round and round, 
till she was fairly out of breath. 

* " Now, none of your nonsense, Joe," called out 
mother at the porch ; " let Nellie come in here, and 
you take down her boxes." 

* Nellie ran up the path at sight of mother, flung 
her arms round her neck, and fairly sobbed. 

* " Why, mother, how stout you've grown," she 



90 ^alU^ontH biti^ m^ 6ivU. 

said at last, lifting up her head from mother's broad 
shoulder, laughing and crying all together. 

* " Well, child, and you've grown too, only it's the 
other way, so it's as broad as it's long,' said mother, 
wiping her eyes with her apron ; but whether for 
laughing or crying it would be hard to tell. 

* " Well, Nell," said father, coming in at the 
moment, " thee be growed a smart lass, and no mis- 
take. Why thee'll be having all the lads of the 
village arter thee." 

* " I'm come to see my old dad,'* said Nellie, 
kissing him, " and not to be stared at by the village 
lads : I'd soon send them to the right-about if they 
did come, father : and that you know as well as I." 

* " Well said, my girl," answered her father ; " I 
only spoke in jest, for I know my Nell isn't the 
girl to hold herself cheap like that." 

' It was now tea-time, so with these words, father 
seated himself at the table, where mother's best 
cakes and Joe's first strawberries were waiting to 
do Nell honour. Time would fail me to tell of that 
tea, or how Nell unpacked her box afterwards, bring- 
ing out the workbag she had made for mother, the 
socks she had knitted for father, Joe's knife, and, 
best of all, a purse for father and mother both, with 
two gold sovereigns in it. Sunshine, indeed, shone 
in the cottage that night, for wasn't Nell come home 
for a holiday.^ Nell wasn't idle the next day, nor 
the next, nor any day while her holiday lasted. 
There was the mending-basket to be cleared, and 
mother's new dress to be got on with ; then there 



®n doing Ji^omr. 91 



was Joe to be taught how to make father's boots 
shine with the new polish she had brought home, the 
same they used up at the House ; then mother must 
be shown how to make that new pudding she had got 
cook to teach her ; oh, lots of things to be done, 
and certainly no time to go idling about with the 
village lads, ol even for a fairing with cousin Tom, 
because mother didn't like it. 

* " Oh, dear," cried Nell, when the carrier's cart 
came round again, " how I do wish a holiday could 
last for ever." 

* " Then," said father, " it wouldn't be a holiday 
any more " 

* And now see,' said Mrs. Wykeham, laying down 
the book, * it is long past our time, so just write 
down some one lesson you have learnt this after- 
noon, and then you must all be off to tea. What, 
Kitty! ar6 you ready .^' 

* Yes, ma'am,' said Kitty ; * will this do ? 

* Sunday y May 24/A. 
* Subject. — On going Home. 

* Lesson. — Holidays must not be " idle days." ' 



CHAPTER XIIL 

ON SWEETHEARTS, 

' I SHALL miss the girls so next Sunday,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham to the friend with whom she was staying 
at the sea-side. 

* I don't see why you should/ she answered ; 
' for you can adopt some other girls for the time 
being instead of your own. There's the class of 
Friendly Society members at the Home with no one 
to teach them next Sunday, and I'm sure it would 
be a great kindness if you would take them. They 
are so disappointed when Miss Pears can't come.' 

* Well, so I will, then,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; 
' and if, as you want me to, I write down these 
Sunday talks for the benefit of other girls ; perhaps 
it will be just as well to have a few words for some 
who are not in service, and who have other tempt- 
ations.' 

* I think so, too,' answered Mrs. Ellis ; * and I 
can tell you one subject I wish you would choose 
for our girls, and who, you know, are mostly ap- 
prentices, though a few are factory girls — and that 
is, on what they call " keeping company." When 
they leave off work in the evening, they generally 



<@n ^b^nt^tattn. 93 



go for a walk with some young man or other, who 
is called their " follower," who is often a most un- 
desirable acquaintance, and leads them into all kinds 
of folly, and even sin.' 

* Yes, it is curious,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, 
* that girls in our rank of life are so carefully " cha- 
peroned," and never sent about, except with an 
older person, and yet these girls are allowed to go 
just where they like, and with whom they like. 
One would think that their temptations being so 
much greater, their parents would be doubly par- 
ticular.' 

Next Sunday, at three o'clock, Mrs. Wykeham, 
putting her head in at the door of her friend's sitting- 
room, said, holding up a paper, * I am just off, and 
I will tell you how I get on when I come back.' 

When Mrs. Wykeham reached the door of the 
Girls' Friendly Lodge, she was pleased to see a 
number of neatly dressed young women just going 
into the class-room. ' I shall have a good class any- 
how,' she thought, and I suppose my paper will find 
favour from its subject. 

After having chatted a little with the girls, and 
told them about her Sundays at home, she went on : 
* And now you see I am come down to have a little 
talk with you. I never give my girls what you 
would call a regular lesson, but I like them to carry 
away some one little thought for each Sunday — 
though we talk about almost anything. Now I always 
like to choose, or let them choose, something to talk 
about that really interests them ; and as I know a 



94 l^alU^onta bttl^ mp &ivU. 



good many girls, I find there is one subject in which 
they are always interested, and that I have chosen 
for to-day. Can you guess what it is ?' 
But none of the girls could guess at all. 

* Sweethearts,' said Mrs. Wykeham, and as she 
said the word, a subdued titter ran all round the 
class. 

' Ah, I thought you would like to hear what I 
had to say about that,* continued Mrs. Wykeham, 
smiling, * for to every woman, rich or poor, love is 
the most precious and longed-for treasure in the 
world ; but what I want to do, is to help you to 
distinguish between the love that is like real gold 
and the love that is like worthless tinsel, for I fear 
you often mistake the one for the other. Now-a-days 
we only apply the word " sweetheart" to a lover ; but 
you know it used to be a common word of endear- 
ment, and a mother would call her child "sweet- 
heart," or "dear heart," so that we may take the 
word to mean some one whom we love very dearly. 
Now it is most likely that many of you have, or hope 
to have, a lover or sweetheart, so I am going to give 
you a little advice— first, hoW to choose him ; and 
then how to keep him. 

* Shall I tell you how I think many a girl chooses 
her sweetheart ? Just by chance, nothing else ; and 
the first young man whom she meets out walking, 
perhaps, or who speaks in a friendly way to her, is 
allowed to call himself her lover or sweetheart for 
the time being. Probably this young man does not 
really love the girl at all, and very likely only cares 



i^n ^httt^twcti. 95 



to amuse himself with her, and then will go off to 
some one else to do the same thing. Now a girl 
who had any self-respect would not make herself as 
cheap as this ; she would say to herself, "If this 
young man really loves me, and means to marry me, 
he will take some trouble to come after me, and not 
expect me to be always on the look-out for him. 
If I am worth marrying, Fm worth his coming to see 
me at home ; and as for walking out alone with 
him in the evening, I'm not going to be mistaken 
for a girl who has no respect for her character." But 
instead of this, perhaps the foolish girl thinks it is a 
very fine thing to have a young man to walk arm in 
arm with ; and when she passes her friends in the 
streets, she is quite proud to let them see that she 
has a sweetheart, as she calls it, when perhaps they 
have none. Ah, girls, if ever you find yourself think- 
ing like that, take care. Ask yourself, " Is this 
sweetheart of mine, the man I mean to marry — the 
man who will make me a kind, good husband — the 
man whom my parents will approve of, and whose 
character is so good that it alone would insure my 
not being spoken lightly of, when I am seen in his 
company ? " If you can honestly answer " Yes " to 
yourself, then I should say, by all means go and 
take your walks together, though not late in the 
evening. By all means hold up your head before 
the world, and " thank God for an honest man's love ;" 
but if you feel in your heart that you would have to 
say just the very opposite, and that it is only to 
gratify your vanity and your pride that you are 



96 I^BXy^ouvH b>U^ tnp 6ivU. 

listening to what he has to say, and that if any one 
else behind you were listening, you would blush and 
turn away, then be sure that it is no true " sweet- 
heart," not one who loves you dearly that you are 
walking with, but that you are standing on the very 
brink of a precipice over which one false step may 
hurl you into the very depths of sin and ruin. Now 
I daresay that each of you may be thinking, " I have 
no fear." Ah, that is just your danger. I once knew 
two girls — as well brought up as any girls could be — 
who, if I had said anything of this kind to them, 
would have been ready to answer, as Hazael did, 
" Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing ?" 
and yet before a year had passed, both of them had 
fallen out of the ranks of good, pure maidens, into 
those of sin and defilement. I must speak strongly 
to you. I must say to each one of you here, " Let 
her" that thinketh "she" standeth, take heed lest 
" she" fall. Is it not grievous that the true love 
which God meant to be our greatest blessing in this 
world, should be mocked by a false love that may be 
our greatest curse ? 

* And now having warned you about how care- 
ful you must be in choosing your sweetheart, let 
us turn to the brighter side again; and, supposing 
you have chosen well and wisely, ask how you 
are to keep the love you have won. First, I should 
say, be content with that love and admiration, and 
do not look beyond. If any other man professes 
to admire you too, let him feel that it is quite a 
matter of indifference to you, because of this other 



®tt l^beet]^earti{. 97 



love that you have a right to. Never be tempted to 
trifle with a good man's affection for the passing 
amusement of an hour. Some girls seem to delight 
in teazing a man they love, in pretending to care 
for some one else, just for " the fun," as they call 
it, of making him jealous. Ah, it is like playing 
with edged tools, and you may hurt both yourself 
and others when you least expect it. Let the man 
whom you love, rest secure in your love ; let him 
feel, "I can trust her anywhere, and with anyone, 
because I know she has given me her whole heart." ' 

* Again, to keep a man*s love, you must keep his 
respect, and to keep that, you must never pass the 
bounds of maiden modesty and reserve, even with him. 
I daresay you may say, " Ah, but it doesn't matter 
what I do or say, when we're going to be married." 
It does matter, and till you are married you must not 
behave in any kind of way as if you were. A girl 
who allows a man — even the man she is engaged to — 
to take any liberties with her, or to fail in the polite- 
ness which every man owes to a woman — is not the 
girl to win or to keep a man's respect. Remember that 
unless you respect yourselves, you cannot expect any 
one else to do so. Ah, dear girls, I wish I could 
set before you the picture of what a true maiden 
should be — so gentle and loving, so pure and modest, 
not seeking, but being sought, — found out, like the 
violet among the leaves, rather by her sweetness than 
her beauty — a maiden of whom all good men would 
say, "that is a woman I could love and honour as 
my wife ; a woman I could trust with the happiness 

H 



98 f^Biy^outH btt|) ntf 6ixU. 

of my home and the bringing up of my children." 
Such a maiden would, indeed, be herself a " sweet- 
heart," whom a man could both love and respect. 

* And now, girls, good-bye, and if you like, I will 
come again next Sunday.' 

* Oh, do, ma'am,' exclaimed the girls, * and we 
won't forget your lesson.' 

When Mrs. Wykeham got home, she wrote as. a 
memorandum across the paper, — 

' Sunday. May ^ist 

* Subject. — On Sweethearts. 

' Lesson. — Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out 

of it are the issues of life.* 



CHAPTER XIV. 

ON SELF-RESPECT. 

When Mrs. Wykeham entered the room which was 
set apart at the Home for the classes next Sunday, 
she was pleased to see several new faces. * I see they 
don't mind listening to my advice/ she thought to 
herself, * I only hope they will remember and act upon 
some of it ; but ah ! it is so easy to preach and so 
difficult to practise.' 

' Well, girls,' she began, when she had seated her- 
herself, * have you forgotten all I said last Sunday }* 

* Oh, no !' they answered. 

* For you know,* she continued, * thej^ say that with 
young people like you, words go in at one ear and out 
at the other ; but you must stop up that second ear 
and not let all that I have said escape. In my talk 
with you last Sunday, you may remember that I made 
use of the expression of " self-respect;" now I thought 
we would take this for our consideration to-day. I 
wonder if any of you can tell me the meaning of this 
expression. When I say, for instance, that a girl has 
shown some self-respect by behaving in such or such 
a way, what do I mean ?* 

* That she has behaved rightly about something, 
ma'am ?' asked a girl at Mrs. Wykeham*s side; 



loo 1^aiyt)ovitii initf^ mp 6ixU* 

* Yes ; of course I mean that, because I think we 
are all agreed that this self-respect is a right and a 
good thing for a girl to have, but I want you to put 
its meaning into different words for me.' 

But none of the girls could find the words that 
they wanted. 

* Ah ! I see what it is,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * " we 
know, but we can't explain" ' — the old story. Well I 
must try myself. I think if we take self-respect in 
its best and highest sense, we mean the respect that 
we each of us owe to ourselves, as being made in God's 
image, and as having the indwelling of His Holy 
Spirit This you will see is very different to what 
some people would mean by self-respect, for it is often 
used merely as another name for pride and self- 
glorification. I will give you two instances to explain 
the difference. Supposing I see a woman going about 
like a slattern, with dirty, untidy dress and hair, 
loitering at the door of her house, her shoes all trodden 
down, her arms akimbo, gossipping with any of the 
passers-by, I should say to myself, "That woman 
must have lost all self-respect, -or she would be 
ashamed to be seen like that;" and I should mean 
that she had lost the sense of what was due to herself 
as well as to her neighbours, as regards tidiness, 
cleanliness, and womanly feeling. If, on the other 
hand, I hear a respectably dressed woman saying to 
her neighbour — as I heard one say the other day — 
" I'm thankful to say that I've always kept myself to 
myself, and I'm not going to be beholden to any- 
body:" then I feel inclined to answer, "If you think 



(Bn ^tW^tiftcU loi 



keeping yourself to yourself is enough to make you 
respectable, my friend, you are quite mistaken; and as 
to being " beholden to anybody," there are none of 
us, from the cradle to the grave, who can dispense 
with that. Pride isn't self-respect, or selfishness 
either." ' 

*But isn't there such a thing, ma'am, as proper 
pride?' asked one of the girls whom Mrs. Wykeham 
knew considered herself as rather superior to the 
others. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; *the pride that makes a 
woman take delight in having her house neat and 
clean, and her husband's meals well cooked ; or the 
pride that any of you girls might take in a piece of 
work that you had done well, I should call that a 
proper pride ; but it is not quite the same thing as 
self-respect. 

* Now I fear that you girls who live in towns are 
sometimes rather apt to be wanting in this particular. 
Shall I tell you why I think so } Because I have 
noticed the familiar way you allow young men of your 
acquaintance to speak to you ; because I have seen the 
conscious look and laugh with which some of you 
return the glance of any passing stranger in the 
street, or the way in which you will run the risk of 
finding yourself in a crowd with no one older to take 
care of you. I think if you had more of this quality 
that we are speaking of, I should not see these little 
signs, which are to me like straws, showing which 
way the wind blows. A girl who has real self-respect is 
careful what society she mixes in, and how she goes 



102 Ikalbfiontii Inttf) mp 6ix\fs, 

about ; she does not allow anyone to take liberties 
or make rude remarks to her/ 

* But, please, ma*am, how can we help it ?' asked a 
bright, rather showily dressed girl. 

Mrs. Wykeham could not help thinking to herself, 
as she looked at her, that anyone, with her manner 
and evident love of attracting notice, would find it 
rather difficult, but she only answered : * A girl with a 
quiet, retiring manner and simple dress, who only 
" minds her own business," as the saying is, may, I 
believe, go almost anywhere that it is necessary for her 
to go, without being spoken to or taken any un- 
pleasant notice of. I am quite certain it depends upon 
yourselves. If you have this self-respect that we are 
speaking of, you will know how to come and go 
without having any remarks made upon you. Even 
if by chance and not by your own seeking, you should 
be thrown with any young men, for instance, who 
seem inclined to be too forward, you can always make 
them " keep their distance." 

* I remember reading a story once of an old nurse, 
who, when she asked how she got rid at last of a 
troublesome lover, who, as she said, "wouldn't take 
no," answered, " Whenever he came, I always used to 
look just six inches above his head, without answering 
him ;" and that's what I advise you to do if you are 
in any difficulty of the kind. 

'Again, there are other ways in which a girl can 
show whether she has this self-respect or not. If she 
allows people to take her to places where she will see 
sights that a modest girl ought not to look at ; if she 



<@tt ^tUMtHptcU 103 



takes up a paper and reads things that ought never to 
be put into print, much less read by any young 
girl ; if she goes about with people of doubtful 
character — in all these cases she not only loses other 
people's respect, but she forgets what is due to herself 
as a member of Christ and a child of God. If you 
remember always, wherever you go and whatever 
you do, that you are " temples of the Holy 
Ghost," that will be the true way to preserve 
your self-respect ; then you will try to keep far from 
you " everything that defileth," whether it be unclean- 
ness of the body or uncleanness of the soul ; you will 
try to keep your eyes from seeing evil sights, your 
ears from hearing evil words ; you will keep your 
body, as the Catechism tells us, "in soberness, 
temperance, and chastity." If a woman or a girl once 
loses this self-respect, she "goes down-hill," as the 
saying is, very fast indeed. She gradually comes to 
be quite careless of what other people say or think 
of her, till at last she loses all sense of blame and 
shame. I need not draw upon the picture of such an 
one. You must, most of you, have seen, at least at a 
distance, some such sad sight as this — it is because I 
want you to feel how terrible it is, this loss of all 
womanly modesty and self-respect, that I thought of 
speaking to you to-day about it, and of entreating you 
to beware of the first easy steps which lead to a down- 
ward road. Perhaps there is not one of you here now, 
who would at this moment do anything to make 
people cry shame on you ; but I am equally sure that 
there is not one of you here who does not need my 



I04 ^alUl)ouxi b)iti^ mj) 6ixU* 

warning in a greater or lesser degree, because at your 

age often mere thoughtlessness is at the root of so 
much evil. 

* I should like each one of you, when you go home, 
to take up your Bibles and read through, very care- 
fully, the last six verses of the sixth chapter of ist 
Corinthians. There St. Paul explains what I spoke 
of, namely, the respect we owe to ourselves as being 
made in God's image and having the indwelling of His 
Holy Spirit. Think how that Holy Spirit must grieve 
as He looks down and beholds the fair image of Him- 
self that God created, defiled both in body and spirit 
Think how our blessed Lord must mourn when He 
sees the souls which He bought at such a price — ^the 
price of His own Blood — given back again into the 
hand of Satan. 

* But when I urge you, dear girls, to keep your- 
selves pure, both in body and soul, you must never 
forget that it is not of yourselves that you can do so ; 
that you can neither keep your garments undefiled 
nor wash them clean again when stained by sin, it is 
to Christ, and to Christ's Blood, that you must look 
for help and cleansing. Only if you love Him, can 
you respect His image, and in so doing respect your- 
selves. 

*One word more I must say about the false 
meaning of self-respect, which we spoke about at first. 
Never let pride like that take its place in your heart. 
Never be tempted to say, like the Pharisee, " My God, 
I thank Thee that I am not as other men are." If 
God helps you to keep yourself respectable, do not 



®n ^AUiSitiiiftcU 105 



turn away with scorn from those whose temptations 
have been such as you, perhaps, would never have 
dreamed of. It may be, too, that the sense of having 
lost the respect of all around them is goading them 
on to fresh depths of sin. Try if, by loving pity, you 
may not raise them to newness of life. 

* No doubt the Pharisee, who, in his pride, stood 
aloof from the Publican, would have called that very 
pride by the name of self-respect ; we know what it 
was in God's sight. There is not one of us, however 
respectable in the sight of man, who would not need, 
when standing at God's judgment-seat, to smite upon 
his breast, and cry, "God be merciful to me a 
sinner." ' 

As Mrs. Wykeham said these words, she rose from 
her seat, and the girls all got up to go, when one of 
them, a shy, retiring, little thing of about fifteen, 
asked if she might stay behind and ask Mrs. Wyke- 
ham something. 

* Yes ; certainly,' said she ; * or, rather, will you 
walk home with me ; and, as I believe you will not be 
expected back just yet, stay and have a cup of tea, 
and then we can have a little quiet talk together?' 

Mrs. Wykeham said this, knowing that the poor 
girl had no mother, and only a careless father, who 
was rather unkind to her. 

* I wanted to ask your advice, ma'am, about a situ- 
ation,' she began, when the cup of tea and the bread 
and butter were finished. * Father wants me to take it, 
and I don't want to.' 



io6 1^Al4^ovLtii b^ii^ tap 6ivU* 

* Tell me about it/ said Mrs. Wykeham. * Where 
is it ?' 

* It IS at the public-house, ma'am/ she answered. 

* Then I should say at once, Do not take it, 
unless it is a very quiet, well-conducted one, and 
you will be under the care of some elderly, motherly 
woman.' 

* But that's just what I shan't, ma'am ; at least, it 
was the master of the house who wanted to engage 
me, and he has only an old, bed-ridden mother/ she 
replied ; * and so I shouldn't have any mistress, so to 
speak.' 

' Then I can only say, more decidedly still/ said 
Mrs. Wykeham, * that you must not take the place ; 
for this is just one of those situations in which no girl 
who has any of the self-respect I was speaking of, 
should place herself. How can you expect to avoid 
rough ways and words in a house of that kind ?' 

* Yes, ma'am ; that's what I thought ; and your 
words this afternoon made me feel still more vexed 
about it, but I daren't say " no " to father.' 

* Well, I will undertake that/ answered Mrs. Wyke- 
ham ; * and, what is more, I will do my best to get 
you, through the Friendly Society, a proper place for 
a young girl like you. You know/ she added, smiling^ 
* what we try and do is to " mother " our girls, and 
help them to take care of themselves when they have 
no one to take care of them.' 

Accordingly it was not very long before a suitable 
place was found for Mrs. Wykeham's little, motherless 



<@n ^tltSHtHj^ttU 107 



friend, who long remembered the day on which Mrs. 
Wykeham had given her not only the cup of tea, but 
a paper, on which she had written, as a reminder, 

* Sunday yjiiiie Jth, 

* Subject. — On Self-respect. 

* Lesson. — Respect yourself, and other people will be 

sure to respect you.' 



CHAPTER XV. 

ON DRESS. 

* Some of you, I think, are dressmakers ; aren't you ?* 
began Mrs. Wykeham next Sunday, when she had 
seated herself. 

* Yes, ma'am, I, and I,' answered several girls 
together ; * and some of us are apprentices to the 
millinery department,' answered one rather smartly- 
dressed young person in the corner. 

' Which means, in other words,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham, smiling, * that you learn to make bonnets and 
hats. Well, perhaps you will be interested then in 
my subject for to-day, and I shall expect you to 
tell me something about it this time. It is " On 
Dress," which, of course, includes the said bonnets, 
and hats, and caps too sometimes,' she added smiling, 
and looking across at a girl whom she recognised 
as a friend's nursery-maid, and whom she had seen 
lately with about two square inches of lace on her 
head, which was all that was meant to do duty for a 
cap. 

* Well, then, to begin. What were the first 
dresses made of that we hear anything about?' 

There was a pause, and the girls looked rather 



®tt Sxtii*^ 109 



puzzled ; then one of them, looking up suddenly, 
answered, * Oh ! why, fig-leaves, of course.' 

* And what was the last dress worn at Court 
made of?' 

' Velvet,' * Silk,' * Satin,' answered the girls, several 
at once. 

* Well, then, we must choose from between these 
very different fashions and materials the proper ones 
for you girls to dress in. Now, every one of us 
ought to consider three things in our dress. We 
should be dressed, firstly, according to our station in 
life ; secondly, according to our purses ; and, thirdly, 
according to good taste. To take the first. When 
I say according to our station, what does that 
mean ? * 

* Ohj that we shouldn't dress like the Queen or 
the Princesses do,' said one girl. 

*Yes, and neither should girls whom God has 
placed in your position try to " dress like a lady," as 
the saying is. You are none of you likely to try and 
dress like the Queen in state robes, in purple and 
ermine, for that would be impossible ; but you are 
often tempted, I see, to dress in things that are not 
at all becoming to your station, because you see 
ladies wear them. When I see the imitation laces 
and faded finery — the cheap feathers and the woollen 
trimming that is meant to look like fur — then I 
feel inclined to say, " Ah ! all that rubbish is put on 
to pretend to be what it is not ;" but it can't deceive 
people, and the girl who wears it looks just like a 



no f^alUl^onvfi btt|) mj; &ixU* 

sham and a pretence herself. She knows she cannot 
buy costly furs and real laces, and if she could, they 
would not make her look like a real lady ; and yet 
she is foolish enough to waste her money on cheap 
imitations that deceive nobody, and make her look 
like the daw that was dressed out in peacock's feathers. 
No, girls ; whatever you wear, let them be good, useful 
things that don't pretend to be anything but what 
they are, and that are suitable to the station of life 
in which it has pleased God to call you. I should 
say the same of all imitation jewellery. If you want 
a brooch, choose ever such a plain one, with no sham 
about it, for nothing looks so bad as a woman 
dressed out in bits of coloured glass, set round with 
gilt tinsel, only fit to catch a baby's eye, or to please 
some uneducated savage. Dare to be true, whether 
in words or deeds, in looks or dress. If God had 
meant you to have costly ornaments, do you not 
think He would have given you the money to buy 
them with ? If you want a cheap one, go to the 
garden and pick a rose-bud to put in your dress. 
What lady, even the Queen herself, could desire a 
better one than that } Another way in which girls 
are sometimes tempted to forget their station in the 
matter of dress is in copying the fashions, as well as 
the materials, of a lady's dress. Surely it is foolish 
enough to see women and girls who have no work 
to do wearing dresses so tight that they can scarcely 
move in them ; but how doubly foolish in girls who 
have to earn their own living by work, and whose 



®n 9ttjelf{» III 



power of working all depends upon having their 
limbs free ! I have seen housemaids laced in so 
tightly that they could scarcely carry upstairs the 
pail of water, or the heavy tray that they had in 
their hands. I have seen a girl who had to run a 
message in a hurry, neither able to hold up her 
dress, or to run at all, because she had tied back her 
dress with strings and tapes, just as she had seen 
her young mistress do. Mind, I don't say that the 
young mistress was not foolish ; I only say that the 
maid was more so, because to be able to run about 
and move freely, was all the more necessary to her. 
It is the same foolish love of " aping their betters," 
as our grandmothers used to call it, that makes 
servant-girls choose for their every-day dresses bright 
colours that will fade directly, or woollen stuflfs that 
will catch the dirt. Why not consider — if you have 
rooms to sweep and dishes to wash up — ^whether a 
print washing-dress will not suit your work best, and 
keep to it. I am not speaking here only to you 
girls, who, as dressmakers, have not much house- 
work to do ; or to servants in large houses, where 
print dresses are the rule, but to some of you who 
live in lodging-houses, or whose work at home makes 
soap and water a daily necessity. 

'We all like to wear dresses that are becoming ; 
don't we ?' she added. 

' Yes, ma'am,' answered the girls. 

' And do all colours suit the same person alike ?' 

* Oh, no,' they answered. 



112 l^alV^onxii iDtt|| mg &ixU* 

* Well, then/ said Mrs. Wykeham, * in future ask 
yourselves this question, Does my dress become not 
only my face and my figure, but does it become my 
work and my station ? Now for the second thing- 
we were to consider in dress. What was it ? ' 

* It was to be according to our purses,' answered 
one of the girls, smiling. 

* Well, what does that mean ?* 

* According to the money weVe got in them, 
ma'am,' answered the one whom Mrs. Wykeham had 
recognised as her friend's nursemaid. 

* Exactly ; now do you all do that ?' she con- 
tinued. 

* Not always, ma'am,' answered a girl, who was the 
smartest of the number. 

* And so you get into debt ?' 

* Sometimes, ma'am,' was the answer. 

* Well, then, you need to remember my rule, for 
if you are wearing things that you have not money 
to pay for, you are no better than a thief, I am 
afraid.' 

* Oh, but we mean to pay for them some day, 
ma'am,* said one of the girls. 

* Yes, but that some day gets put off and off, and 
until at last, perhaps, the shopman threatens you with 
the law. Some of you don't pay at all. I knew a 
girl who left her situation in debt to a tradesman 
close by, and did not even tell him her address, in 
the hope that he might not find her out, or be able 
to go on sending in his bill. I know another girl 



®n ^ttHii* 113 



who used to dress very smartly, and as I felt sure her 
wages were not high, I one day asked her mother 
how she afforded it. "Ah, ma'am," was the answer, 
"she comes upon me with her bills ; and would you 
believe it, ma'am, she gave twelve shillings for her 
last bonnet, which is what has to last us at home 
for a whole week ; and I had to pay it too, and that's 
why Johnnie's feet have been so bad with the chil- 
blains, because I couldn't afford him any boots." 
Now don't you think that girl ought to have been 
ashamed of herself?' 

* Yes, indeed,' answered the girls in a breath ; * it 
was too bad.' 

*Well, then, take my warning in time, lest you 
should come to that. Compare your purse with 
what you want to buy, and don't buy anything that 
you can't pay for — out of debt is out of danger. 
If you get into the habit of running into debt 
now, you may some day find that it has been the 
ruin, not only of yourself, but of husband and 
children too. Remember, then, to be dressed ac- 
cording to your purses. 

*Next and lastly, though not least, you must 
be dressed in good taste. Now how can you do 
that ?' 

^ By not mixing too many colours, ma'am,' 
answered one of the young dressmakers. 

* Yes,' that is one rule ; another would be, to 
dress modestly, for dress that is not modest and 
neat is not in good taste; another is to dress be- 

1 



114 )^aI{?||ourf{ b^itt) ms &itU, 

comingly, to choose the colours and the shapes that 
suit you best ; not to buy something, a dress or a 
bonnet, because you saw some one else look well 
in it. The same thing does not look well on every- 
body. A tall thin person could wear a dress that 
would not be becoming to a short fat one. All 
these things you must think of before you buy 
anything. Don't go straight into a shop without 
exactly knowing what you are come for, and then 
be persuaded into buying what your better judg- 
ment will afterwards tell you was not the right 
thing. 

* Try and remember my three rules, for then, and 
then only, can you be called " well dressed." 

* And now, I am afraid I must say good-bye, for 
by next Sunday I shall be at home again, and 
talking to my own girls.' 

* Oh, please, ma'am, if you come here again, 
will you come down to see us ?' said the girls, 
gathering round Mrs. Wykeham. 'Some of the 
ladies who come here make it so dull ; they never 
talk to us, only read it all out of a book, just as if 
it was a sermon, and we can't listen a bit ; we'd so 
much rather they'd talk to us as you do. It makes 
it seem more natural.' 

* Well,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, smiling, * I'll 
be sure and tell them all' so. So good-bye, and don't 
forget our Sunday lessons.' 

* What did you give the girls this Sunday ?' 
3Lsked her friend, when she returned home. 



®n MttHH. 115 



Mrs. Wykeham answered by handing her the 
week's paper, on which was written, — 

* Sunday^ June 14///. 

* Subject. — On Dress. 

* Lesson. — Dress according to your station, your 

purse, and good taste.' 



CHAPTER XVI. 

ON TRUTHFULNESS. 

* So here we are again/ said Mrs. Wykeham, as she 
looked round at the girls seated in the favourite 
window-sills in her room next Sunday ; * and all the 
better for our holiday, I hope ?' 

* Oh, yes, ma'am,' they answered. 

After telling the girls about the class of Friendly 
Members that she had been teaching while away, and 
inquiring a little as to what they had done during 
their holiday, and how they had found all going on at 
home, Mrs. Wykeham proceeded : * Do you remember 
choosing four subjects for me which I promised to 
take each in turn ?* 

* Oh, yes, ma'am,' answered Olive ; * you gave us 
"Trustworthiness" for the first' 

* Well, then,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * we will take 
" Truth " for to-day. Who chose that ?' 

* I did, ma'am,' answered Jane ; * because I never 
can tell when one may say things that aren't exactly 
true or not.' 

* How do you mean, Jane ?' asked Mrs. Wykeham. 

* Why, if you please, ma'am, there are what are 
called "white lies ;" are they wrong ?* 



®n Crut]^fulnef{!E(. 117 



* It IS always wrong to deceive, Jane, and a He is a 
He always, whether we call it white or black. I think 
if we were to examine, we should generally find that 
"white lies" might be called "convenient lies;" and 
it is because we are not willing to " put ourselves out," 
as the saying is, or get into difficulty, that we try to 
think lightly of them and excuse ourselves hy saying, 
" Oh ! it is only a white lie." Let us, therefore, make 
up our minds to speak the truth always and on every 
occasion if we are called upon. But, on the other 
hand, we are not always obliged to say things that 
may be true and yet are not necessary to be told at 
all. For instance, if you know that your neighbour 
had done a foolish thing, it would not be necessary or 
kind of you to go about telling everybody, although 
it may have been perfectly true ; and this brings me 
to the question of gossip. What does gossip mean ?' 

'Chattering about other people's concerns, and 
repeating whafs no business of ours, ma'am ; isn't it?' 
asked Rhoda. 

'Exactly!' said Mrs. Wykeham; *and it is in 
gossipping that people are often most tempted to 
forget the truth. They are not content with saying 
what their neighbour /las done ; but what he has 
often not done. If everybody were to speak the 
truth, and nothing more than the truth, there would 
be much less harm done in the world.' 

* I remember, ma'am,' said Kitty, * our clergyman 
preached a sermon about that once, and said that 
before we began to repeat stories about other people, 
we were to ask ourselves three questions.' 



ii8 l^alUl^outii iDtt]^ mo 6irU, 



* And can you remember them ?* said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham. 

* Yes, ma'am/ said Kitty ; * I think I can. We 
were to ask ourselves first if what we were going to 
say about our neighbour was " obliged to be said." ' 

*That is if it was necessary^ interposed Mrs. 
Wykeham. 

* Next if it was khid ; and, most of all, if it was 
truel added Kitty. * I remember it, because our 
teacher made us learn those three things afterwards 
in school.* 

*And very good advice it was too,* said Mrs. 
Wykeham ; * for if we asked ourselves those questions 
before speaking, think how all the foolish, and unkind, 
and untrue stories would be stoppe'd. Now think of 
another way in which girls like you might be tempted 
to sacrifice truth.* 

* If we'd done anything wrong and were afraid to 
say so when we were asked,' asked Rhoda. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * for instance, if you 
had broken or spoilt some of your mistress's things, 
and tried to hide it or to let it appear, even if you 
didn't exactly say so, that someone else had done it. 
I have known servants put the pieces of some china 
they had broken lightly together, so that when the 
next person touched it, it fell apart, and they got the 
blame, instead of the one who had really broken it ; 
that was acting against the spirit of truth, — it was 
trying to deceive.* 

'Then, ma'am,' asked Rhoda, 'another thing 
which puzzles me is, that sometimes one does tell 



®n Crut]^fulneje(f{. 119 



a lie without knowing it ; is that counted for a 
sin?' 

* Not when there is no intention to deceive, for 
God looks into our hearts and does not judge by the 
outside only. If I told you to go and look for such 
or such a thing, and added you would find it in a 
certain right-hand drawer ; if when you went there, 
you found it was in the left-hand one, though I had 
not said what was the truth, yet I shouldn't have 
been telling you a lie with the intention of deceiving ; 
should I ?' 

* Oh, no, ma'am ; and I see that in anything like 
that one would not be to blame/ 

* So you see,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, * in 
judging of a lie, we must look rather to the spirit 
than the letter ; we must look rather to what is meant 
than what is actually said. Do you remember about 
Ananias and Sapphira ? Get your Bibles and look. 
It is in the 5th chapter of Acts, and begins at the ist 
verse. They sold, you see, a certain piece of land, 
and brought part of the price and laid it at the 
apostles' feet, pretending it was the whole. One of 
them only acted the lie, the other spoke it ; but the 
punishment was to both alike, because God, who looks 
into the heart, saw that they had " agreed together to 
lie to the Holy Ghost." ' 

* I never understood that before, ma'am,' said 
Kitty ; * I always thought that Sapphira told a lie, 
but I never could see that Ananias did, for he only 
laid the money there and said nothing.' 

* So we might have judged, Kitty,' answered Mrs. 



I20 ^alU^oum iott]^ m» &ixU. 

Wykeham ; * but God who tries the heart, judged 
differently. It is a very solemn thought, that how- 
ever much we may deceive men, we never can deceive 
God. His eye is ever on us, and "all things are 
naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom 
we have to do." ' 

* What does the Catechism say about truth ?' she 
continued after a pause. 

*" To be true and just in all my dealings,"* said 
Rose, who answered but seldom; but who was evi- 
dently listening with great attention. 

* Then is it not being untruthful when people have 
false weights and give short measure?' asked Jane. 
* I know one can't trust every one : cook says she 
makes it a rule to weigh things that come in every 
now and again.' 

* Indeed it is unfortunately so,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham ; * and if everybody were perfectly true 
and just in theif dealings, we should not have to 
measure or weigh things for ourselves, to prevent our 
being deceived. Then there are other ways in which 
people deceive ; when our milk has water put in it 
and yet pretends to be all milk ; when our tea is 
adulterated or mixed with copper-filings to make it 
heavy, or sloe-leaves that look like tea; when our 
beer has all kinds of messes put into it, we are being 
deceived by lies that are acted, though not spoken. 
But it is in other ways than this that Satan will tempt 
j/ou to be untrue ; in a " yes " or a " no," thoughtlessly 
or hastily spoken ; in saying a little more or a little 
less than the truth ; in not being quite open and 



<©n CrutlifulneiEJiEJ. 121 



straightforward ; in these things I beg of you to 
watch. There is nothing so noble as a man or a 
woman whose every word you can believe. There 
is nothing so mean and despicable as a liar, for a liar 
is a coward as well. I can only repeat to you what I 
said to the girls at the Home the other day — " Dare 
to be true." 

* And now that is enough for to-day, for I want to 
have a little talk with Rose, for whom I have found a 
place that I think will just suit her; so she can stay 
and hear about it. 

* When I was away, Rose,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 
* I heard of a lady who wanted a girl to train under 
an older servant ; she is a kind old maiden lady who 
lives by herself ; and when I told her about you, she 
promised to try you, and, if your parents are willing, 
I arranged that you should go there this next week. 
I think it will be a happy home for you ; and as the 
old lady herself is very infirm, I feel sure you will 
try and be a gentle, thoughtful, little handmaid. I 
dare say she will let you do all sorts of little things 
for her, and I have no doubt you may make yourself 
a great comfort to her in time. Your work will not 
be very hard, for you are to look after her room, run 
her errands, and wait on her; the other servant does 
most of the housework.' 

' I think I shall like that better than being nurse- 
maid, ma'am,' said Rose. 

' I think you will, Rose ; and that's why I asked 
her to try you. She is such a dear, beautiful, old 



122 IkalUi^ovLtfi btti) mp &ivU. 



lady/ she continued, * with white curls round her fage, 
and such a sweet, loving smile/ 

* I wonder if she will love me,' thought poor Rose ; 
* nobody ever does.* 

And so it was settled, and Rose went off on the 
following Thursday to her new home. When she got 
there, the old lady welcomed her kindly, and said, * I 
have no doubt you will suit me, my dear, for any one 
who has been in Mrs. Wykeham's household cannot 
help having learnt to be useful.' 

Tm afraid I haven't,' answered Rose, a little 
bluntly; *but I'll try, ma'am.' 

The next morning Rose was told to wash up the 
cups and saucers after breakfast, and having got 
together her bowl of water and cloths she set to 
work. She had not been used to washing up at Mrs. 
Wykeham's ; but she did not like to say so, and set 
about it rather awkwardly, thinking, *Well, it's easy 
enough, anyhow.' 

Scarcely had the thought passed through her 
mind, when crash went one of the best tea-cups, 
slipping right out of her hand on to the pantry 
floor. 

* Oh, dear !' cried poor Rosq ; * what shall I do ?' 
Instantly the words came into her mind, * Dare to 

be truel and gathering up the pieces, she ran and 
knocked at the old lady's door, saying, as she an- 
swered, * Come in;' *0h! please, ma'am, I've gone 
and broken one of the best cups, and Mrs. Wykeham 
said I was to tell you !' 



®n Crut||fulnesf!EJ. 123 



* Mrs. Wykeham ?' said the old lady ; * why is she 
here?' forgetting in her astonishment the broken tea- 
cup. 

* Oh, no, ma'am,* answered Rose ; * but it was last 
Sunday's lesson;* and so saying she took out of her 
pocket the slip of paper on which Mrs. Wykeham had 
written down for her : — 

^Sunday, Jtine 21st, 

* Subject. — On Truthfulness. 

' Lesson. — Dare to be true.' 



CHAPTER XVII. 

ON FORGETFULNESS. 

* We shall only be short in our number for one Sun- 
day/ said Mrs. Wykeham, looking round on the girls, 
when next they met, * for by next Sunday the new 
under laundry-maid will have come, and she will no 
doubt like to take Rose*s place. I wonder if she 
will find us a subject.' 

*I should think it would be on washing, then, 
ma'am,' said Kitty, laughing. 

*Well, it wouldn't be a bad one,' answered her 
mistress ; * for no one can have too much of soap and 
water, and I sometimes think you all have too little. 
By-the-by have you kept an account, of the subjects 
and lessons in those books I gave you.?' 

* Yes, ma'am, we have,' answered Olive ; * we 
write them down when we leave you — before we go 
to tea.' 

* That's right,' answered Mrs. Wykeham; *for all 
my preaching will be in vain if you don't remember 
and practise. It was my turn for a subject to-day, as 
I took yours last. So I sent down those slips of 
paper that I see you have there. What's on yours, 
Kitty?' 



®n ffoxittivLlntM. 125 



* " No more head than a pin," ma'am; and Tm sure 
I don't know what subject that is/ 

* And yours, Olive?' 

* I quite forgot !' answered Olive. 

* And mine is, " A knot in your pocket-handker- 
chief," ' said Jane. 

' And mine — oh dear ! I quite forgot to bring it,' 
said Rhoda, * but I know what was written on it — 
" Try and remember." ' 

'Well, it just suited you, at any rate,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham. * Now out of all these mottoes, as we will 
call them, what will my subject be ?' 

* About forgetting, I expect,' said Kitty. 

* Exactly ; " On Forgetfulness." Girls do some- 
times forget — don't they.?' added Mrs. Wykeham, 
glancing with a smile over at Rhoda. 

* I think we always forget, somehow,* said Kitty; 
' but I don't know how it is.' 

*Well, we will consider, first. What makes us 
forget ; and, secondly. What will prevent our for- 
getting. What makes you forget, Kitty ? and obliges 
cook to tell me, as she did last week, " She's no more 
head than a pin !" ' 

' I can't keep my thoughts together, ma'am, some- 
how,' answered Kitty. 

* By which I suppose you mean,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham, *that you are thinking now about one thing, 
now about another, just as they happen to strike you, 
and one thought drives away the other out of your 
head. Strangely enough,' she » added, smiling, 'I've 



126 I^Mb^onta b^it^ mp Atrto. 

felt that sort of thing the matter with me sometimes, 
I wonder if everybody has. 

* What makes you forget, Olive ? I think I must 
answer for you. You are always in the clouds. I don't 
know whether you get into fairy-land or dream-land, 
but you are not here in this work-a-day world. Nurse 
tells me she has sometimes to call you several times 
before you answer/ said Mrs. Wykeham, who had 
noticed, with some anxiety, this growing dreaminess 
of Olive's. * Now for you, Jane ?' 

* I think of things just after it's too late,' answered 
she. 

* Well, we must find some remedy for that Now 
for you, Rhoda?' she continued. 

*I'm afraid I'm like Kitty — my head gets in a 
muddle, ma'am,' answered Rhoda. 

*So then we must put down as follows: The 
things that make us forget are, " being in a muddle," 
" dreaming," and " not looking ahead," which seems to 
be Jane's mistake. Now, to prevent "being in a 
muddle," what can we do?' 

* I don't know, ma'am,' answered Kitty and Jane. 

* I should say, "Arrange in your mind what j^u 
have got to remember and learn it by heart," answered 
Mrs. Wykeham. I find that is the only way I can do. 
I say to myself, for instance, " I've got to remember 
to-day, firstly, to order some soup for So-and-so, who 
is ill in the village ; secondly, I've got three notes to 
write ; and, thirdly, I've got to prepare the subject for 
the girls next Sunday ;" or, perhaps, that is part of a 



&n JfotzttiulntHfi. 127 

— - - -- - — - , 

morning^s work, and I have to think of a quantity 
more in the afternoon. Well, first, I arrange it, and 
then I write it down or learn it. If you can't write it 
down or learn it, " itlake a knot in your pocket-hand- 
kerchief," or tie a piece of thread round your finger, 
as my old nurse used to.' 

* Oh, did she?' exclaimed Olive. * So does mother.' 
'Anything to fix it in your mind,' continued Mrs. 

Wykeham. * I know a lady who changes her rings to 
remember things by. Well, try then not to be in a 
muddle, and to arrange both your thoughts and your 
work. Now, what shall we tell Olive to do to cure 
herself of dreaming ? ' 

* I never dream,' said Kitty. * I don't sit still long 
enough, so I can't tell what it is like.' 

*No, Kitty,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, 'you're too 
like a parched pea in a frying-pan for anyone to 
accuse you of dreaming. I think, Olive,' she continued, 
* whenever you feel yourself going off into a dream, 
you should get up and do something — ever so little — 
just to keep your thoughts down here, out of dream- 
land. I do not mean,' she added, reverently, *that 
your thoughts should not soar upwards to reach God 
and His Holy Land, but not stay in a dream-land of 
fancy.' 

Mrs. Wykeham, as she spoke, looked lovingly 
across at Olive, about whom she felt a growing un- 
easiness. There did not seem anything exactly the 
matter with the girl, but somehow she had altered of 
late. 

* Now for Jane's turn. She confesses that she has 



128 l^alb^onvfi loiti^ mv 6ixU. 



what the French call, "the spirit of the staircase," 
which means that if you wanted to say something to 
your friend, it would be sure not to occur to you till 
he was half-way down-stairs on his way home. Jane 
remembers things, only just a minute or two too late. 
How can she cure that ?' 

* By what you said, ma*am ?* asked Rhoda, * " By 
looking ahead ?"' 

* Just so,' replied Mrs. Wykeham ; * and by saying 
to herself, as I told you to, " What have I got to re- 
member ? " and then when she puts her hand in her 
pocket and feels that knot in her pocket-handkerchief, 
it will remind her just in time ; only don't do, as a 
friend of mine used to. He always made his knot — 
two, three knots, sometimes — in the pocket-handker- 
chief, and then, when he took it, couldn't for the life 
of him remember what those knots were for.' 

* Some people have naturally a good memory, and 
some not ; haven't they, ma'am ?' asked Olive. 

* Certainly ; you have heard of people who could 
repeat a whole page of the Times by heart after 
having once read it. Others, who could repeat 
chapter after chapter in the Bible; but though we 
may not have such wonderful memories as that, we 
may all make the best of what we have, and often 
make it better by practice. You know a child gets to 
learn things quickly by heart, after constant practice. 
I have no doubt that you who are not used to it 
would take a long time to learn a, hymn or chapter of 
the Bible.' 

* Olive wouldn't/ answered Kitty. 



®n Jf^otqttiulmHi, 129 



*0h, no!* replied Mrs. Wykeham, *I forgot that 
Olive teaches the children their hymns and knows 
most of them by heart herself ; but you others would.' 

* Yes, indeed/ answered Rhoda ; * I haven't learnt 
anything for years.* 

*Well, suppose you try now, then,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham, * and learn the Sermon on the Mount for 
me by next Sunday : I mean the twelve Beatitudes, 
as they are called.' 

* Yes ; we will,' answered the girls. 

* I nearly know those already,' added Olive. 
*Then you can learn something else. I do not 

ask you usually to learn things for me, because I don't 
want to make these Sunday talks burdensome to you, 
but I should like you to do so, now and then ; for some 
day you may be thankful to have some texts stored 
away in your minds.' 

*I remember reading a story of a prisoner who 
had his Bible taken away from him,' said Olive, * and 
he told his persecutors that they could not really take 
it away, because it was all written on his heart. He 
meant he had learnt it all at different times.' 

* And I have heard, too,' added Mrs. Wykeham, 
* of blind people, to whom the texts learnt in former 
days were the greatest help and comfort. Well, now, 
we have pretty well said our say, about " forgetful- 
ness," I think ; so next time any of you forget, ask 
yourself, whetlier you " tied any knot in your pocket- 
handkerchief .^" by which I mean, whether you really 
tried to remember } and if not, punish your memory by 
making it learn a little scrap of something instead. 

K 



130 %aU?]^iirK btt]^ mjBf 



* And now, off with you ; for, see, it is a lovely 
day, and you must get a walk before tea.' 

* What shall we write in our books, ma'am ?' asked 
Rhoda. 

* This, I think,* said Mrs. Wykeham : 

^ Sunday y June 28/A. 
* Subject. — On Forgetfulness. 
* Lesson. — Learn to Remember.' 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

ON HONESTY. 

* I can't think what's the matter with Olive, nurse/ 
said Mrs. Wykeham next day. * I think that going 
home seems to have done her harm instead of good. 
She was not looking strong before, but now she 
seems so very ailing, and I don't like that cough of 
hers.' 

* No more do I, ma'am/ answered nurse ; * and 
I've begged her to speak to you about it. I think 
when she was home she caught cold, and was more 
ill with it, than she will say.' 

* Well, I'll ask her about it/ said Mrs. Wykeham. 
' We were just speaking about you/ she said, as Olive 
at that moment entered the nursery. * Nurse and I 
think that you've not been looking well for some time 
past, and we want to know if you are feeling par- 
ticularly out of sorts.' 

* Oh, ma'am !' cried Olive, bursting into tears, * I 
know I ought to have told you before, but I couldn't 
bear to, for fear you would send me home again 
altogether.' 

*Well, what is it, Olive?' said Mrs. Wykeham, 
kindly ; * you know that we would do anything for 



132 Kalf^ours; lotti) m$ 6itU. 



you, and like you too much to want to send you 
away without reason.* 

* Oh, ma'am !' continued Olive, sobbing in a way 
that was very unusual to her, and which showed 
Mrs. Wykeham that she was indeed * out of sorts/ 

* When I was home I took a chill, and I was in 
bed nearly all the time and had the doctor. He 
said I ought not to go out to service again anywhere ; 
but when he heard that I was with you, he said that 
you would be as good as a mother to me, and that 
the food I got here would be so much better than 
what mother could get for me, and so — and so,* 
sobbed poor Olive. *I came back again and said 
nothing about it, I thought it wouldn't matter to 
anybody but myself.* 

* Yes, Olive,* answered Mrs. Wykeham, gently, * it 
did matter to us all, and it was not quite honest of 
you ; but I don't mean to scold you, my poor child, 
for that won't be good medicine for you. We will 
have the doctor here again, and he shall tell me what 
he thinks had better be done.* 

Accordingly, next day the doctor came, and 
having sounded Olive, pronounced, much to Mrs. 
Wykeham's sorrow, that her lungs were decidedly 
affected, and that only the greatest care would 
prevent her from going into a decline. 

*What had I better do, then?' asked Mrs. 
Wykeham. 

*I should say,' replied the doctor, 'that the 
children here would be too much for her in her 
present weak state of health, and that she had better 



©n J&onrsltp. 133 



go to some warmer place, or to her mother; only 
then there is the difficulty about food.' 

* Oh ! I will see to that/ answered Mrs. Wykeham, 

* and arrange that she shall have dinners regularly 
from the Cottage Hospital while she is at home.' 

And so it was settled. 

* You see, Olive,' said Mrs. Wykeham to her, * as 
long as you are here, the children are sure to forget 
and make you run about after them : whereas if 
you go home and get a proper rest, we hope you 
will come back again more like yourself.' 

Mrs. Wykeham did not dare to add, * and soon 
get quite well,' for she knew too much of the sad 
disease which had attacked Olive, and how rapidly 
it had made progress during the last few weeks to 
have much hopes of seeing her quite well again. 

*You can take this little present from me to 
your mother to get any little things the doctor 
orders,' said Mrs. Wykeham, next day, as she 
stood at the door, surrounded by the children who 
had come to take a last look at their *dear 
Oily.' 

First the box was lifted up, then Olive, into the 
cart, and as it slowly drove away from the door, 
' Come back quick, Olive,' cried out the children ; 

* Tum back tick. Oily !' echoed baby. 

Ah, they little knew that their dear * Oily ' would 
never come back to them any more. 

Sunday had come, and the girls (including the 
new under-laundrymaid, Selah) were gathered as 
usual, only without Olive, in Mrs. Wykeham's room. 



134 I^Ay^onta \nii^ m$ &ixU. 

* My subject for to-day/ she began, * is Honesty, 
which you remember was the last on your paper, 
You must soon find me out some more,* she added, 
smiling ; but the girls noticed that it was rather a 
sad smile, and that Mrs. Wykeham seemed to find it 
a harder matter than usual to begin. 

* Well, what have you got to say about it?' she 
inquired. * Nothing ? Ah ! the truth is, we are all 
feeling the want of Olive, and are rather dull, I 
suppose/ 

*Yes, we dp miss her,' answered the girls with 
tearful faces, for they, too, had a suspicion that Olive 
was not coming back again soon. 

* However, we must put away sad thoughts, and 
try and find out a little about this said " Honesty." 
What does it mean ?' asked Mrs. Wykeham. 

* Not to steal or to take anything that isn't ours,' 
answered Rhoda. 

* Yes ; and do you think that is a sin into which 
any of you are likely to fall?' she continued. 

* No, ma'am,' answered Kitty, promptly. 

* Wait a bit and see,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * there are 
many things we may steal almost without knowing it' 

*How, ma'am?' asked Rhoda. 'Surely we can't 
steal anything — that is, take it away — without know- 
mg It.' 

*Did you ever steal anyone's love?' asked Mrs. 
Wykeham, ' or anyone's character?' 

* Not that I know of,' said Jane. 

* Nor I either,' answered Kitty. 
Rhoda was silent. 



©n ftonesltp. 135 



* Well, Rhoda, and you ?' 

But Rhoda only blushed, and said, * I am not so 
sure, ma'am ; but I can't tell.' 

Rhoda was thinking of a day long ago — at least 
it seemed so to her — when a very angry voice had 
cried out, * I call it a mean thing to take away any- 
one's character by spreading such reports.' 

The story was this : Rhoda had thoughtlessly 
repeated to a fellow-servant some unkind reports 
?ibout a certain girl she knew. This fellow-ser- 
vant had again repeated to her mistress what 
she had heard, and the consequence was that the 
lady, who had before intended to engage the girl as 
kitchen-maid, now decided not to do so, on hearing 
such a character of her. All these reports had, how- 
ever, turned out to be untrue ; but it was a long time 
before the poor girl's character recovered from 
the effects of Rhoda's unkindness. Her fellow-ser- 
vant had been very indignant about it, so that all 
Rhoda had got for her pains had been the above 
angry words from her former friend. It had been a 
bitter lesson, but she had learned, at any rate, how a 
few thoughtless words may steal away what is more 
valuable than money. 

*We can steal love,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, 
not willing to press the question, *we can steal 
character, we can steal time.' 

* Oh, I know about time ! Mrs. Banks told me 
once,' said Jane ; * she said if I dawdled and idled 
away the time for which my mistress paid me I was 
no better than a thief.' 



136 %altf)0ttri$ loiti) txm Atrb. 



* We can steal in many different ways/ went on 
Mrs. Wykeham, * and I do not think there is one of 
us who does not need to be on their guard. Even 
the other day I was obliged to tell Olive that she 
had not been honest' 

* Olive ?' exclaimed all the girls in a breath. 

* Yes, Olive ; but it was rather a different kind of 
honesty that she had been Avanting in — she had not 
the honesty to tell me at once that she had been 
ill when at home, and was not fit for her work. I 
should have gone on paying her wages for work that 
she was not able to do, if nurse and I had not seen 
it in time, and thus she would have injured not only 
herself but me. For to be honest you must not only 
not steal from your neighbour, but you must g-ive 
him what is his due, " Owe no man anything," says 
St. Paul, and that is a part of honesty.' 

* Men or women who do not pay their debts 
are dishonest : people who do not keep their pro- 
mises are dishonest as well as dishonourable. You 
see in all these subjects we must look deeper than 
the surface, and read not only the letter but the 
spirit of the law. One of Satan's devices is to make 
people think, " Oh, I am not likely to fall in to this 
or that sin ! I am not likely to steal my neighbour's 
goods, or to murder him, or to bear false witness." 
No, you may not be, but you may be likely to steal 
something as valuable, to give way to anger, or to 
say what is not strictly true. It is in little things as 
I often tell you that we need to watch, for Satan 
always tries to get the thin end of the wedge in, as we 



©n l^ontitp. 137 



say. A great poet says, "An honest man*s the noblest 
work of God," but I do not suppose he meant merely 
a man who did not steal, but one who was upright 
and honourable — one who rendered to every man 
his due, from honour to — farthings,' Mrs. Wykeham 
added, with a smile. 

* And now Fm not going to keep you any longer, 
for we are none of us in good spirits for a talk, and 
I should like Selah to go out and see the garden, as 
she is a new comer. 

* By-the-by, Selah,* she added, looking up at the 
tall, strong girl before her, *how did you come by 
your name?' 

* Mother opened the Bible to see what would 
come uppermost,' answered she, * and it was in the 
Psalms, " Selah." ' 

*0h, I know!' said Kitty: *at the end of each 
chapter. Here is my book, ma'am,' she added. 

* Sunday, July ^th, 

* Subject. — On Honesty. 

* Lesson. — Owe no man anything.' 



CHAPTER XIX. 

ON CHRISTIAN NAMES. 

* Well, Nurse/ said Mrs. Wykeham, a day or two later, 

* I have at last found some one to supply Olive's 
place during the next few weeks, till we see how she 
is, and whether she gets any better.' 

*I am very glad of it, ma'am,* answered nurse, 
*for I can hardly manage alone.' 

* She is the pupil-teacher,' continued Mrs. Wyke- 
ham : * and as the holidays are now going on, she 
can very well come and will help to teach the elder 
ones and keep them quiet. Her name is rather a 
curious one ; I don't know what baby will make of 
it. It is Thirza.* 

*Well, that is a name one doesn't hear often 
hereabouts, ma'am,' answered nurse, *but in our 
village at home nearly all the boys and girls had 
Bible names. Selah, you know, comes from my old 
parish, and her brother is called Jeremiah ; and well 
I remember him, and a proper pickle he was, too,* 
she added. 

* Yes, Selah was telling us only last Sunday how 
their mother chose their names,* answered Mrs. 
Wykeham, as she left the room. 



®n C^xintian fiamti. 139 

Baby did make a mess of it sure enough, and 
poor Thirza she insisted on calling ' Coon* 

* I suppose/ said Master Charlie, * as she is always 
" cooing " herself, she thinks it a very good name to 
give Thirza.* 

Thirza was very different from Olive, and, partly 
from that fact and partly because she was what the 
other girls called *set up,* did not seem to be very 
popular. She was slight and pretty, with a bright 
colour and very blue eyes, rather high-spirited and 
fond of attracting notice. In fact, one reason why 
Mrs. Wykeham had her up to the house was that she 
might get to know her, and possibly be of use to 
her, for she felt that with such good looks, joined to 
a love of admiration and the liberty she had as a 
pupil -teacher out of school hours, she might very 
easily get into mischief. 

'What do you think was the reason I chose the 
subject of Christian names for this Sunday.^* began 
Mrs. Wykeham. 

* I know, ma*am,' answered Kitty ; * because 
Thirza and Selah have two such curious ones, and 
we were all saying so. I think they're nice, though,' 
she added, as if afraid she might have hurt the other 
girls* feelings, * because no one else has them. Now 
I know plenty of "Kittys,** and "Janes,** and 
" Marys.** ' 

* Do you know,' continued Mrs. Wykeham, * that 
every Christian name means something ?* 

* No, we didn't,* answered the girls. * Why, what 



I40 Kalt'l^ours; \nit^ mp &ixU. 

can " Selah " mean ? We thought it was the name 
of somebody whom David spoke about/ said Jane. 

* No, it isn't/ said Mrs. Wykeham ; * if you get 
your Bibles and look, you will find it at the end of 
some of the verses in the Psalms.' 

* Oh, IVe found it !* exclaimed Kitty. * It is over 
and over again in the third Psalm/ 

* Yes,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, * and in many 
others, such as the ninth and the twenty-fourth. The 
word is supposed to be put there to show that when 
the Psalms were being sung, a pause was to be made 
after that particular verse, probably to draw attention to 
some specially beautiful thought that those who sang 
it might pause and *take it in/ as we say. So Selah's 
name must tell her to " stop and think sometimes/* 
when her spirits are likely to carry her away, for 
instance, or when she is tempted through good-nature 
to be persuaded into doing something very foolish/ 
added Mrs. Wykeham, looking across at her round 
merry face, and thinking as she did so that the caution 
might be needful sometimes. 

* And what does my name mean ?* asked Jane. 

* Well, I really don't know, for I could not find it, in 
the book I looked in yesterday, and where I found 
the others,' says Mrs. Wykeham. *I was thinking 
mostly then of Bible names, and I found the meaning 
of many of those in the Concordance. Katharine 
wasn't there either, of course, so I can't be sure about 
Kitty's, but I think it comes from a Greek word that 
means " purity." 



®ti C^viitiAxt jjSametl. 141 



* " Olive," you know suggests " peace to us," 
because the olive-branch was the sign of peace.' 

* Oh, I know, ma'am !' said Rhoda, * the dove out 
of the ark brought an olive-branch in its mouth, 
didn't it ?' 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham. 

* What does Rhoda mean, ma'am } do you know ?' 
asked Selah. 

* Yes. " Rhoda " means " a rose," so you must be 
as " sweet " as a rose. " Thirza," or " Tirza," as it 
was spelt formerly, is a Jewish name, and its meaning 
is " benevolent " or " pleasing." Names are taken from 
all kinds of languages, and have all kinds of mean- 
ings. My name of " Rachel " has a very funny one ; 
it means a " sheep." ' 

As Mrs. Wykeham said this, both she and the 
girls joined in a hearty laugh. 

* I hope I am not like the " silly sheep " that we 
all hear so much of. What good quality can I 
borrow from a sheep, I wonder?' 

* Well, it's useful, at least as mutton, ma'am,' 
said Jane very gravely, whereupon all the girls burst 
out laughing again. 

* There's no denying that is there,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham with a smile. * I may perhaps be con- 
tented with learning a lesson of usefulness from my 
name. I daresay, though, that " Rachel " may have 
been first used as a name of endearment, just as 
I have heard a mother call her child " my little 
lamb." It would come very naturally from the lips 
of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, with 



142 l^aiyt^onvi iott]^ mp 6ivU. 

their flocks and herds of sheep, whom with the 
children that were tender, Jacob said must " be led 
softly ;" and his own wife Rachel, as a girl you 
remember, kept her father's sheep — herself, no doubt, 
the most cherished lamb of the fold.' 

* I never should have thought,* said Selah, * that 
there could be so much to say about a name. I 
didn't know a bit what mine meant, though mother 
told me how she chanced upon it' 

" * But we haven't done yet,' says Mrs. Wykeham ; 
* for why are our Christian names so called ? I mean,* 
she added, seeing the girls did not quite understand 
her question, * why is my first called my " Christian 
name," and my second my "surname ?" ' 

* Because,' answered Kitty, *our first names are 
given us at our baptism, when we are made members 
of Christ.' 

* Exactly,* replied Mrs. Wykeham, * so that our 
Christian name, besides having a meaning of its 
own, ought always remind us of our baptismal pro- 
mise, " to fight against the world, the flesh, and the 
devil, and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and 
servant unto our lives* end." 

* Our surname shows that we are one of an earthly 
family, bearing the name of an earthly father. Our 
Christian name should show that we are one of a 
heavenly family, bearing the name of a heavenly 
Father. 

* To bear the name of Christian ought to be to us 
a higher honour than if we bore the noblest name 
on earth.* 



(&n Ci^rtflttan jj^atnei^. 143 

* Can you tell us the meaning of any other 
Christian names ? I should so much like to know/ 
asked Kitty. 

* Well, you may try me, and see,* answered Mrs. 
Wykeham ; * but I can only tell you the meanings 
of what I call Bible names, I think.* 

' Well, " Mary,*' ma'am,' asked Rhoda. 

* Mary, the name of our blessed Lord's mother, 
means, I believe, " Exalted ;'* at least it is one of 
its meanings ; and is, indeed, a fit name for her who, 
though meek and lowly in heart, was exalted to the 
highest honour ever granted to woman. Now it is 
your turn, Jane, to ask.' 

* " Sarah " ' is that a Bible name, ma'am ? Oh ! 
of course it is,* she added ; * I forgot' 

* Sarah means " lady," or " princess ;" so some- 
times that would not be quite appropriate — would 
it ? But however lowly might be the work of a 
" Sarah," she could always be noble at heart. Now 
you, Thirza ? * 

* I've got a friend called Priscilla, ma'am ; she's 
a nursemaid. What does that mean .?' 

* It means "ancient," I remember,' said Mrs. Wyke- 
ham. 

* Then,' put in Kitty, saucily, * I'm sure she must 
be an old maid.* 

* What is your choice, Selah ?' 

* " Susan," ma'am ; that's mother's name.' 

* I don't remember that,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; 
' but I'll look and see.* So saying, she took down a 
book from the book-shelf, and turning over the 



144 f^alf^i^outi^ h)tt]^ m^ 6ivli. 

leaves, answered presently, * I find Susanna here, 
which, I suppose, has the same meaning, and it is 
"a lily," or "joy;" so you could choose which you 
like best. Who hasn't chosen now ?* 

* I haven't,' said Kitty, a little abashed at no 
notice having been taken of her saucy remark. 
' Please, Til choose " Ruth," ma'am.' 

* That means " filled," or " satisfied ;" and now 
you must be satisfied too,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * for 
I can't talk any more this afternoon about Christian 
names, for it must be quite time for us to break up. 
There is just one word more I should like to say, 
though,' she added, * about a certain kind of name 
called a " nickname." * 

As Mrs. Wykeham said this, Kitty blushed a 
little. 

* I heard the other day,' she continued, * a voice 
calling out, " Ask Humpty-dumpty, she'll know." I 
could tell pretty well whose the voice was, and it was 
only in fun, I could hear ; but supposing " Humpty- 
dumpty," whoever she was, didn't like to be called by 
that nickname, it wouldn't have been kind — would it ?' 

* Oh, I know, ma'am,' said Kitty ; * but it really 
was only in fun, and Selah is as round as a ball. Now, 
aren't you, Selah ?' 

* It isn't the first time I've been called by that 
name, Kitty,' answered Selah, good -humouredly, 
* and I don't mind it a bit ; but one of my sisters 
used to be called " Daddy-long-legs" at school, and 
she couldn't bear that, and it was unkind of them 
to go on with it when they saw it made her cry.* 



(&n €l)xiftiAn jj^anutl. 145 

* Well, then, don't give nicknames, or use them,' 
said Mrs. Wykeham, * because it often hurts people's 
feelings more than you think; for we aren't all so 
good-natured as Selah. And now what shall we write 
for this day, I think it must be this — see, — 

* Sunday^ July \2tlu 

* Subject. — On Christian Names. 

* Lesson. — Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith 

ye are called.' 



CHAPTER XX. 

ON QUARRELLING. 

The girls had been too busy, they said, the last week, 
to think of any subject, so Mrs. Wykeham had chosen 
her own for the next Sunday's lesson, and this was 
how it had come about. She had heard Rhoda 
speaking in a very angry tone to the nev^^ nursery- 
maid, Thirza, and an equally angry answer from her 
in reply ; and going up to see what was the matter, 
she found them in high discussion, in which the words, 
* I will ' and * you shan't,' * I shall ' and * you won't,' 
seemed to be the chief ones. 

* Girls — ^girls!' said Mrs. Wykeham, *what is all 
this quarrelling about ?' 

* Well, ma'am,' said Thirza, * she won't lend me 
her broom; and how am I to sweep out the 
nursery?' 

* Olive didn't use Rhoda's brooms, did she?' asked 
Mrs. Wykeham. *I had a housemaid's cupboard 
made for her on purpose, that she should always have 
her dusters and brooms at hand.' 

* I know you did, ma'am,' exclaimed Rhoda ; * and 
that's just what I said ; and she's gone and lost the 
carpet-broom, somehow ; and just because she won't 



<©n (©uarreDma. 147 



take the trouble to look for it, she comes and takes 
mine.' 

* Then, if Rhoda were a little more obliging, and 
Thirza a little less careless, there needn't have been 
all these words about it,' said Mrs. Wykeham. * You, 
Rhoda, lend Thirza your broom for half-an-hour ; and 
when you, Thirza, have swept the nursery, just go 
and look for your own till you find it; and don't 
let me hear anything of this sort again, either of 
you.' 

But the matter of the broom had not been the 
only point of dispute, and somehow, Rhoda, who, as 
I have said before, liked her own way, and Thirza, 
who was high-spirited and quick-tempered, were con- 
stantly falling out. 

*I see I must give them a regular talking to 
about it,' thought Mrs. Wykeham, * or we shall have 
no peace.' 

* It takes two to make a quarrel,' she began, the 
following Sunday ; * how many does it take to make 
one up ? Ah ! that's a harder question, isn't it ? Some- 
times it takes the efforts of two whole lifetimes ; some- 
times it can never be made up at all. Quarrelsome 
words may be likened to little sparks which light up 
a raging fire. Where did you go on Friday, girls ?* 

* Oh, we all went up to the woods for our picnic, 
ma'am,' answered Kitty. 

* Well, and what did you do there ?' 

' We had our dinner, and made a fire.* 

* Well, it was that fire I was thinking of; you told 
me that you lit it at first with only some little bits of 



148 )6aIf^]^ourie{ fott]^ mp 6ixli. 

stick and dried thistles, didn't you, and that to your 
astonishment, you found it burnt so fiercely, especially 
when you put on some dried furze, that you could 
hardly put it out again in time to be back by tea.* 

* Oh, yes, ma'am,* answered Kitty, * it blazed up 
like anything, all in a minute, and quite frightened us. 
The flames were as high as our heads, and a great 
deal higher, and yet there seemed so little in dry 
thistles and furze to burn like that' • 

'Well,* said Mrs. Wykeham, * words are just like 
those dry thistle-heads, and when they are set alight 
by anger, they blaze up into a fire that almost frightens 
us ourselves.' 

* Now, I have heard words flying about, this past 
week, among some of you, that reminded me of sparks 
among thistle-heads ; and as I don't want a blaze, I 
think we had all better look to it, eh, Rhoda ? How 
can we prevent quarrelling, do you think? Now I 
want an answer from each of you.* 

*By being pleasant and obliging,* said Rhoda, 
blushing. 

* By a soft answer,* said Jane. 

* By not wanting everything our own way,* faltered 
Thirza. 

* By not saying anything,* said Kitty. 

* That, Kitty, might do sometimes ; but sometimes, 
on the other hand,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * it might add 
fuel to the flames. What do you say, Selah?* 

* I should go out of the room, if anyone wanted 
to quarrel with me, ma'am,' remarked Selah, ' it makes 
one so hot' At this the girls laughed ; but decided 



i&n (Suarrtllitig. 149 



that it wouldn't always be possible to follow Selah's 
plan. 

* Well, we are all agreed then, that there are ways 
of putting out the sparks of anger before they grow 
to a fire, aren't we ? so I hope you will try some of 
them next time.' 

* But people are so aggravating, sometimes,' said 
Thirza, * that one feels as if one couldn't give in. If 
they would, I would,' she added, evidently thinking 
of several of her late quarrels with Rhoda. * It seems 
so unjust' 

* That is generally because we are too obstinate, 
answered Mrs. Wykeham, * and too certain that we 
must be in the right.' 

'Well, the other day,' began Thirza, * Rhoda 
wouldn't ' 

* Never mind, Thirza, about Rhoda ; we don't 
come here on Sunday afternoons to tell tales of each 
other. Next time you feel angry about anything, and 
quite certain that you are in the right, and that you 
are being treated most unkindly and most unfairly, 
just try what I should call "shelving" your quarrel for 
a week, and then take it down from the shelf and look 
at it again, you will be astonished to see how it has 
shrunk away in the time. Why, ten chances to one, 
as you look at it again, you will say to yourself, " well, 
after all, it wasn't worth making such a fuss about ; it 
didn't matter so very much either way, after all." 
Sometimes, in former days, people used to come to 
me with complaints or quarrels, and my answer to 
them always was : " Don't tell me any more about it 



ISO l^aUA^ouvi ioiti^ mg &ivU. 

now ; but come again in a week, and I will listen 
to it all and tell you what I think about it." I need 
hardly add, that generally when the week was out, 
they "had made it up again;" and "it wasn't worth 
mentioning." All this time, of course, I am talking 
of the little sparks, the first beginnings of the fire, not 
the deadly enmity that lasts a lifetime ; but the little 
disputes and differences that I have heard spoken 
of as " storms in a tea-pot," and disturb our home 
peace and quiet. A really quarrelsome person who 
is always finding something to "fly out about," always 
taking offence where none is meant, is a person sure 
to be shunned and disliked. I once thought of 
choosing for you the subject of " Making Allowances." 
If you would learn how to do that, and get into the 
way of doing it, there wonld not be many quarrels in 
this house. You must all have heard some good- 
natured person before now, say, when anybody had 
been, what Selah called "aggravating," some such 
thing as this : " Oh, poor thing, she meant no harm ; 
she didn't intend to say anything unkind, I'm sure ; 
only she has a sharp way with her." That's the kind 
of thing I mean by making allowances. Charity 
"thinks no evil;" and therefore "is not easily pro- 
voked." And now, girls, try all of you to remember 
the different ways we have found out of stopping 
strife ; for, as I said before, we never know " how 
great a matter a little fire may kindle." ' 

So saying, Mrs. Wykeham rose from her seat, 
and, as the girls were leaving the room, she added, 
* By-che-by, you shall each write out for me three 



<©n (®uartrflma. 151 



texts about quarrelling, or strife. I think Solomon 
alone will provide you with plenty/ 

* Selah's texts are the best, as I should have ex- 
pected,' said Mrs. Wykeham to herself, next day, as 
she looked over the girl's papers. * And this last one 
is certainly so appropriate that I shall enter it for the 
Sunday's lesson.' So saying, she took out her note- 
book and wrote : 

* Sunday^ July igtk. 

* Subject. — On Quarrelling. 

* Lesson. — A continual dropping in a very rainy day 
and a contentious woman are alike.' 



CHAPTER XXL 

ON SICKNESS. 

* I HAVE had a letter from Olive's mother, that makes 
me very anxious about her/ said Mrs. Wykeham next 
morning to Nurse. 

* She writes that her eldest son is dangerously ill 
with low fever, and the doctor strongly advises her 
sending Olive away ; for in her state of health, the 
fever, though it is not exactly catching, might attack 
her too. I can't very well have her back here, for the 
children's sake, for one is always afraid of anything in 
the way of fever.' 

* No, indeed, ma'am ! dearly as I love Olive, 
I couldn't have those blessed children exposed to 
anything infectious, that I couldn't ! * exclaimed 
nurse, fervently, * with the baby and all ! ' she 
added. 

* Well, nurse ; I have resolved on one thing ; to go 
over and see for myself, and consult with Olive's 
mother about it ; for if anything should happen to her, 
I should be miserable.* 

So, accordingly,, Mrs. Wykeham drove off to the 
station, and after a short railway journey and a longer 
drive, found herself set down at the door cf Olive's 



i&n ^iAntii. 153 



mother's house. It was a little cottage, standing high 
up, overlooking the common, and not far from the 
church. 

Mrs. Wykeham got out of the fly, unfastened the 
latch of the little wooden gate, and stooping under the 
archway of closely-clipped laurel that formed the 
porch, knocked at the door. It was opened by a 
pleasant-faced, middle-aged woman, neatly dressed in 
brown linsey, with white cap and apron, whom Mrs. 
Wykeham at once knew to be Olive's mother. She 
saw at her first glance how careworn she looked, and 
noticing also the black lines under her eyes, she 
said, *I'm come to see if I can help you, Mrs. Spencer. 
You do indeed look sadly worn out !' 

'Indeed I am; ma'am!' she replied. 'What with 
want of sleep, and being so anxious ; for I've been up 
night after night with Bill, and now here's Olive, I 
fear, sickening for the same fever.* 

*0h, dear !' exclaimed Mrs. Wykeham, * that's the 
very thing I was dreading.' 

* Yes, ma'am,' answered her mother, 'and so was I ; 
and what's to be done, I don't know.* 

At this moment the doctor's gig drove up. ' Well, 
Mrs. Spencer!' he cried out cheerfully, * how's my 
patient doing ? On the mend, I hope ?' 

* Bill is, thank you, sir ; but Olive's sickening now, 
I fear!' 

On hearing this, the doctor at once proceeded up- 
stairs. There he found that their fears were but too 
true. * There is only one thing to be done,' he said. 
■* She cannot possibly stay in this miserable attic ; and 



154 f^alU^ouriet fx^it^ mg &ixU. 

you say Bill and the children have the other rooms, 
and can't be moved ?' 

* No, sir, that they can't ; there's too many of them, 
and this is all the room I have left,* said Mrs. Spencer. 

* Then Olive must be taken up to the Cottage 
Hospital, for there she can have a good room and 
good nursing. She must go at once, too, before the 
fever develops itself further,* answered the doctor. 

In a few minutes he had wrapped Olive up in a 
large blanket, and carried her down the steep stairs to 
Mrs. Wykeham's fly, which was standing at the gate. 
Mrs. Wykeham got in beside her, and putting her arm 
round her for support, for she seemed so weak she 
could scarcely sit up, they were driven off to the 
Cottage Hospital, which was some half-mile off, upon 
the Heath. 

Olive's mother could not leave Bill, so that Mrs. 
Wykeham had promised to see Olive comfortably 
settled up there. The Hospital was an old-fashioned 
looking cottage, half hidden by the creepers on the 
walls, and standing a little back from the road in an 
orchard of its own. It was only the temporary one ; 
for just opposite were rising from the ground the 
walls of the new building. Mrs. Wykeham, bidding 
someone hold the horse, got the driver to lift Olive 
out of the fly wrapped in her blanket, and carry her 
up the little path through the open door, where the 
matron — a kind motherly-looking woman — was al- 
ready waiting for them, and straight up-stairs into a 
little white-washed bed-room, hung with coloured 
pictures. 



®n ^iAmM. 155 



* I have put Olive into this room/ said the matron, 
* because it is smaller and more comfortable than the 
large one, where there are four beds. Olive can have 
one of these two, and I will come and sleep here with 
her, as there is no one else at present in the house/ 
So saying, she went down-stairs to get the few things 
that had been left in the fly, while Mrs. Wykeham 
proceeded at once to undress Olive and get her into 
bed. She softly brushed out her hair, pulled off her 
shoes and stockings, and, having got her quite ready, 
saw Jier step into the little white bed prepared for 
her. 

* Now, Olive/ she said, * isn't that comfortable.?' 

* Oh, it is indeed !' said poor Olive, * only my head 
is so bad and Tm so thirsty.' 

*Well, lie here/ answered Mrs. Wykeham, 'and 
I'll get something for you to drink.' 

While the matron was gone to warm up some 
broth for Olive — for she seemed quite faint for want 
of food — Mrs. Wykeham went in the little sitting- 
room to wait for the doctor, who had promised to 
come on at once. Hearing a knock at the door, she 
went to open it herself, but found that instead of 
the doctor it was the clergyman of the village, Mr. 
Porter. 

* I heard you were here/ he began, after having 
shaken hands, * and I came up with a message from 
my wife to beg you would come across to our house 
and stay over Sunday, as it is not possible for you to 
get home to-night till so late/ 



156 llal^ourKt lotti^ m^ 6ixU. 

* I will thankfully accept your oflfer/ said Mrs. 
Wykeham, * and telegraph home accordingly.' 

This would be good news to Olive; so Mrs. 
Wykeham, accompanied by Mr. Porter, presently went 
up-stairs again to tell her. Olive had dozed off into 

an uneasy sleep, so Mrs. Wykeham asking Mr. B 

to come again to-morrow, sat down by her bed. As 
she looked at Olive's flushed face and felt the hot 
hand that was lying on the pillow, she could not help 
being full of anxiety for her. This same fever had 
attacked her elder brother, and for weeks he had 
hovered between life and death ; only kept alive for 
days together by constant spoonfuls of beef-tea and 
brandy, and now here was Olive, so much more deli- 
cate, exposed to the same danger. 

After a quarter of an hour, Olive woke up, won- 
dering to find herself in such a cool, shaded room, 
and half bewildered to know where she was, she 
seemed to revive, however, after the broth, and the 
doctor, when he came, seemed hopeful about being 
able to check the fever. 

Mrs. Wykeham spent all that day with her, saying 
when she left in the evening to go over to the vicarage, 
* I shall come again to-morrow after church, and sit 
with you for the afternoon, and perhaps we may be 
able to have a little short talk.' 

When next day Mrs. Wykeham came into Olive's 
room, she was quite cheered to find her looking so 
much better for the change, and seeming glad to have 
some one to sit with her. * Shall you feel able to 



&n Aichmsii. 157 



listen to me if I have a little talk with you ?* said 
Mrs. Wykeham, taking out her Bible. 

* Oh, yes, ma'am ; I will lie still and listen/ said 
Olive, brightly. 

Very slowly and gently Mrs. Wykeham read 
through a few verses from the 12th chapter of He- 
brews, 

^"Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth," ' she 
repeated, * I think that is a very comforting text for 
us when we are ill. It seems so hard to bear all the 
pain and weariness, and we feel inclined to wonder 
why, when other people are out and about in the 
sunshine enjoying themselves, we should be turning 
from side to side on our pillow, and finding no rest. 
But when we know that it is God's doing, and that 
He has some wise purpose for it, then it helps us to 
be content. I will not ask you what are the lessons 
to be learnt from sickness, for you are not well 
enough to think much for yourself; but I will tell 
you one or two. First, I think sickness is meant to 
give us a little time to lie by and rest We live in 
such a hurry, most of us, that the thoughts of heaven 
and the home beyond get " crowded out" We have 
jio time to ponder over what is to come, because we 
are so full of what is going on now. " I will remem- 
ber Thee upon my bed," says David, " and meditate 
on Thee in the night watches." No doubt when he 
wrote those words he had lain tossing on his bed for 
want of sleep, either through sickness or anxiety ; and 
to us, too, the hours of sleepless weariness may become 
hours of sweet meditation if we " think upon God." 



15^ f^aWi^outi fBi(^ mg &itU. 

* Another lesson is, to make us learn sympathy, 
and how to feel for others. Till I was ill myself, I 
never really never felt for other people/ 

* Were you ever very ill, ma*am ?' asked Olive. 

' Yes ; I was, I believe,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 
'very near death once, and what those days and nights 
taught me will never pass from my memory. I 
learnt more then than in years of health, because 
when the world seems slipping away from us, God 
draws very near and teaches us Himself.' 

* I've felt that lately,' said Olive, * and nothing else 
seemed to matter much. I think Moses must have 
felt like that when he was all alone up in the mount 
with God ; while he was listening to what God had 
to say, he forgot all about the people down below and 
what they might be doing.' 

' Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * God does not take 
us apart into a mountain in these days to show 
us His glory, but He often takes us apart from 
our fellow-creatures in times of sickness, and reveals 
Himself to us as He never did before. But that I 
should have called one of the blessings of sickness 
rather than one of its lessons; shouldn't I?' 

* Yes, ma'am,' said Olive; *but then we are learning, 
too.' 

'And now, my child,* said Mrs. Wykeham, *we 
mustn't talk any more at present, but if you like to 
rest now, I will go and see about your tea, and by- 
and-bye, when Mrs. Grant is gone to church, and you 
and I have the hospital to ourselves, perhaps we 
may have another little talk.' 



(3n BiAmisi. 159 



But when the evening came, Olive was too 
feverish for Mrs. Wykeham to allow any more talk- 
ing, so sitting down, she wrote a letter to the girls 
at home about what she had been telling Olive, and 
wound up her letter by saying, * You must write this 
in your books for to-day : 

' Sunday, July 26th, 

* Subject. — On Sickness. 

* Lesson. — Sickness is God's lesson time.* 



-•r..C 



CHAPTER XXII, 



ON EXAMPLE. 



Next morning, as it was raining hard, Mrs. Wykeham 
was not able to walk up to the hospital, but having 
sent to inquire after Olive, and hearing a better 
account of her, she decided on returning home. 

* I feel I shall leave her in good hands,' she said 
to the clergyman's wife, *and you and the doctor 
between you will be sure to let me know how she 
goes on.* 

' That we will/ she answered ; * and she shall have 
everything she wants.' 

When Mrs. Wykeham arrived at home, the whole 
household was anxious to hear how she had found 
Olive, and many were the lamentations at her tidings, 
for Olive had made herself a general favourite by her 
gentle ways and pleasant temper. 

* It is your turn for a subject,' said Mrs. Wykeham 
to the girls next Sunday ; * you remember you missed 
one, and I had to supply it for you.' 

* Yes, ma'am,* answered Rhoda, * and as you told 
us the kind of things that would do to choose, we 
have chosen this for to-day. We didn't bring it 
before,' she added, * for you to think over, because 



<®n Sr^mpU. i6i 



we knew you were so busy this week.' So saying, 
she handed Mrs. Wykeham a slip of paper on which 
was written, * Example.' 

* Well, I can only give you the thoughts that come 
uppermost in my mind at the moment,' said Mrs. 
Wykeham, taking the paper ; * but perhaps if you 
have thought about it, you will have something more 
to say than I shall.' 

*Oh, no, ma'am!' exclaimed Kitty; 'there's no 
chance of that ; we never think of anything till you 
help us.' 

* I find you sometimes want a great deal of 
" pumping," as we used to call it, to get anything out 
of you,' answered Mrs. Wykeham. * But now for our 
subject. Is it to be good or bad example ?' 

' Why both, ma'am, I suppose,' answered Selah. 
'Which, then, shall we take first ?' she asked. 

* Bad,' replied Kitty, promptly. 

* Why ?' said Mrs. Wykeham, laughing. * I hope 
that you do not think your example is likely to be a 
bad one.' 

*I don't suppose mine would be either good or 
bad, — ^at least very bad,' she added, correcting herself. 

* Which means that you wouldn't be taken for an 
example much one way or another, I suppose ?* 

* Yes, ma'am,' answered Kitty. 

* Well, that is just the very first thing for each one 
of you to get out of your head, for there is not one of 
us, rich or poor, who is not setting an example of one 
kind or another, perhaps without even knowing it. 
Do you suppose that in all your life no one ever 

M 



i62 l^alU^onti itotti^ mg 6ixU, 

said of you, " Oh, Kitty does it," or, " Rhoda does it," 
and " why shouldn't I?"* 

* Oh, yes !* cried Rhoda. * Of course people have 
said that ; why at home, when I was little, my 
brothers and sisters said it every time I climbed a 
wall or walked into a puddle.* 

*Well,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, *and people 
will say it more or less all your life, and the question 
to consider is, " Shall I set a good example for those 
younger or weaker than myself to follow, or shall I 
set a bad one ?" 

' Of course, some people's example is more fol- 
lowed than others, for some of us have more influence 
or more power than those around us. But again, I 
repeat, there is not one of us ever so poor, ever so 
young, or ever so foolish, who can dare to say, " It 
does not matter what I do ; nobody will take example 
from me." Why, people are often no better than a 
flock of sheep, and just because they see one go down 
a certain road all the rest will follow. Let us take 
heed, lest we not only go wrong ourselves, but may 
be also leading others astray after us. 

*Make up your mind, then, that it does matter 
what you do, and that if you do what is wrong some 
one is pretty sure to make your doing it an excuse 
for themselves. With girls of your age, I think that 
the force or power of example is particularly strong, 
especially with each other. 

* I will give you an instance. At one time in our 
village the girls had a very untidy way of doing their 
hair in nets, just pushed away anyhow, all rough 



iBn £|:ampb. 163 



and uncombed. Now it happened that one of my 
maids had most beautiful golden-brown hair, which 
she fastened in smooth, soft plaits at the back of her 
head. The first time she sat in the choir I noticed 
several girls looking admiringly at what was evidently 
a new fashion in the village. A few Sundays after, 
one or two of the black nets had disappeared and 
neat little plaited knobs appeared at the back of two 
of the choir girls' heads, peeping out from under their 
bonnets. " Well done !" I thought to myself; " I do 
believe that Nellie is going to set the fashion, and 
that my old enemies, those dirty black nets, are going 
to be thrown away." My guess was a right one, for 
not many months afterwards, on looking round 
among the girls, I could scarcely see one, and 
plaits, large or small, as Nature had granted them^ 
were neatly fastened at the back of every head, 
Nellie had set the fashion or example, call it which 
you will, and the others had very wisely followed it. 
We all of us are apt to do what we see others do, 
sometimes, almost without knowing it 

'Another way in which girls set each other an 
example besides in the matter of dress is in manner. 
When I first began a class of village girls I found 
some were much rougher in their manner than others 
were, just as some were more untidy in their dress ; 
but as the class went on, I noticed that the rough 
ones learnt politeness from their better-taught neigh- 
bours, as much as they learnt to smooth their hair 
and wash their hands. "Evil communications cor- 
rupt good manners," so I suppose good communica- 



1 64 l^aiyi^onxi btti^ mjg fitrb. 

tions mend them. I have generally found that in 
every village there are one or two girls who take the 
lead, and have the power of influencing the others, 
either for good or for evil. Often it is a girl like 
Mary Malcombe — you remember her, don't you, 
Rhoda and Kitty?' 

* Oh, yes,' said Kitty ; 'she was such fun !' 

* Yes, she had high spirits, and was always full of 
fun and mischief,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and the 
consequence was, that what with laughing at the 
other girls, and what with over-persuading them, she 
used to lead many of my class into mischief. I think 
they all admired her, for she was tall and nice- 
looking, and she had what her mother called " a way 
with her." Poor girl ! she came to a sad end at last, 
but just think if she had used that persuasive manner 
and those pleasant " ways " of hers for good instead of 
for evil, as she did, alas ! what an example she might 
have been, and how many would have listened to 
her!' 

* But we don't live in the village, ma'am,* said 
Rhoda ; * at least, I mean we don't come across the 
village girls, so I don't see how they can take example 
one way or another from us.' 

* You can't live in any place, without people hear- 
ing and knowing about you, Rhoda,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham ; * and in your case, if the village girls 
heard of your behaving badly, do you not think they 
would be the first to cry out, " Oh, So-and-so, up at 
the House, did this or that, and I'm sure if sAe does 
it, no one need say anything to me." Can't you 



fin iEvamplt. 165 



fancy your example telling in that way ? I heard not 
long ago of a case exactly like this. It was when a 
clergyman^s wife had rebuked one of the village girls 
for wrong-doing. Directly the lady was gone, she 
turned to her grandmother, saying, " It's all very well 
for her to talk, but if she only knew how Mary Ann 
the cook goes on directly her back was turned, she 
wouldn't say much to me." And so " Mary Ann's " 
wrong-doing up at the Vicarage not only set a bad 
example to the whole village, but caused the kind 
words of her good mistress, who knew nothing about 
it, to be laughed at and scorned. These are only 
cases that have come under my own notice that I 
give you, to show how much farther than we think 
the effects of our example may spread.' 

* But if bad example spreads so far, ma'am,' said 
Rhoda, 'doesn't good example spread as far, too.^' 

* It would, Rhoda,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, * if 
it were not for one thing, and that is, that we all find 
it easier to copy what is wrong than what is right ; 
but good example is a great help. Many who would 
grow weary in well-doing take courage, thinking how 
others have fought and are fighting the same battle. 
What does St. Paul say of our great example, " Con- 
sider him who endured such contradiction of sinners, 
lest ye be weary and faint in your minds." Shall we 
not all try by following, even though it be so far off, 
in His footsteps to set a good example and to help 
others on the road to heaven t There is only one 
more remark I should like to make. I heard a little 
address given by a clergyman to girls like you, the 



other day, and he ended with some such words as 
these : " Go back to your homes, to your work, and 
set a good example, but be sure you remember one 
thing — it must be a silent example, almost an uncon- 
scious one. Do not set yourselves up and say, * Look 
at me, see what a model / am, see what an example 
/ set you.* If once you do that sort of thing, you set 
no example, but one of pride and self-sufficiency ; do 
what is right, and your example will * set itself' " * 

* I know where that was said,' cried Selah. * I was 
there, ma'am, — don't you remember ? It was at our 
Friendly Society Festival. I hadn't come to live 
here then ; Miss Martin took me over to Preston with 
her girls.' 

*Ah, yes!' said Mrs. Wykeham ; *I forgot you 
were there. Well, I'm very glad you remembered it : 
and now for the lesson. What do you think we 
ought to write V 

* This, ma'am, I think,' said Rhoda, handing her 
book, in which she had written, — 

* Sunday^ August 2nd, 

* Subject. — On Example. 

' Lesson. — Ask yourself, " Am I setting a good or a 

bad example .'*"' 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

ON LETTER-WRITING. 

Mrs. Wykeham had heard regularly of Olive the 
last fortnight, and the accounts had not at all lessened 
her anxiety about her. It had, as the doctor feared, 
proved to be typhoid fever from which she was 
suflfering. 

* Day after day,' wrote Mrs. Porter, the clergyman's 
wife, * she lies tossing on her bed, sometimes speaking 
quite sensibly and knowing us all, and at other times 
quite unconscious, and especially at night. I was 
sitting by her the other evening, and her wanderings 
were most pitiful to hear. " Where is Mrs. Wykeham," 
she kept saying, " I can't think why she doesn't come 
to me. Tell her to come," she would repeat plain- 
tively; and then suddenly starting up in her bed, 
she cried out, "Oh! of course, though, she can't 
come, she's gone to heaven ; but I'm going there 
soon," she said, " and then I shall see her, so never 
mind." 

* The doctor says that the crisis will probably be 
on the seventeenth day, and till then we can scarcely 
say how it will go with her. Having been so weakened 
before with the cold on her chest and the constant 



i68 ftalUl^ouxfi itott]^ m$ fitrli^. 



cough, is of course against her ; but I will be sure to 
let you know directly there is any change. We do 
all we can by giving her beef-tea, milk, and brandy, 
to keep up her strength, for she is terribly weak ; and 
she will, I fear, be still more so when the fever leaves 
her.* 

All these particulars Mrs. Wykeham had read to 
the girls, whose eyes filled with tears as they pictured 
to themselves Olive, once so bright and smiling, toss- 
ing on her sick bed. 

* The worst of it is that neither I nor her mother 
can be with her,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * I cannot 
leave home, and her mother cannot leave her brother, 
who still requires constant watching. However, she 
is well taken care of by the kind matron at the 
hospital.' 

Mrs. Wykeham had as usual given the girls their 
paper for the following Sunday, and they were full 
of expectation when they met in her room, as to what 
would come of the subject she had chosen, which was 
* Letter-writing.* 

* I needn't tell you what put the thought of 
" letters " and " letter-writing " into my head for this 
week,' began Mrs. Wykeham, * when we have all been 
watching so eagerly for the Bramfield post-mark, to 
hear news of Olive ; but I daresay you may wonder 
what I can find to say to you about it Well, it has 
occurred to me that as you have all learnt to write, — 
an accomplishment your grandmothers scarcely pos- 
sessed, — perhaps it may be worth while asking if you 
make a good use of the talent.' 



®n letter^itorittng. 169 



*We don't have much occasion to write letters, 
ma'am/ said Kitty. 

' You don't, perhaps, Kitty,' answered Mrs. Wyke- 
ham ; * and that is just what I have to complain of in 
you, or rather what your mother has to complain of, 
I suspect. I think that, like many girls, your letters 
home are few and far between, instead of being 
regular ; and I have no doubt your mother would 
say much what another girl's mother did to me the 
other day, " There, ma'am, I haven't heard anything 
of Mary Jane this month or more ; she scarcely ever 
writes home, and she's a first-rate scholar, too. I'm 
sure I don't know why she doesn't," she added. And 
I'm sure I didn't know why either, unless it was that 
she was too lazy to sit down and write the letter that 
would have given them all such pleasure at home.' 

* There doesn't seem anything to say,' said Kitty. 

* But even the little things that happen to you 
every day, — accounts of the place you live in, your 
friends and your work, — would all be interesting to 
mother, you know,' said Mrs. Wykeham, 'though 
they don't seem much to you. So, Kitty, I must put 
you down as one of the girls who write too little. 
Now thefe are girls who write too much,* she con- 
tinued, glancing across with a little smile at Thirza, 
whom she had found the other day scribbling away in 
the nursery when she ought to have been looking 
after the children. 'Some letters are written when 
the writers ought to have been about their work.' 

At this, Thirza blushed a little. 



* Of course we must make allowance for education 
now-a-days, but girls must take care that they don't 
make their mistresses say, as one said to me the other 
day, " For my part, I don't see what is the use of all 
this schooling ; it only makes girls waste their time 
and ink their fingers writing a lot of rubbishy love- 
letters, when they ought to be minding their kettles 
and brooms." I don't quite agree with the old lady 
that all love-letters are rubbish, perhaps as she was 
never married she never got one herself, but even 
love-letters must be written at proper time, after 
work is done.' 

Here Rhoda looked across at Thirza, who blushed 
still more, which made Mrs. Wykeham say to herself, 
* So you were writing a love-letter, were you, you little 
puss, the other day when I came in upon you.? I 
strongly suspect that was a rubbishy love-letter, 
most love-letters at seventeen are.' However, she 
said nothing, but went on. 

* Letters can do a great deal of good, or a great 
deal of mischief.' 

*Why, how can they do good, ma'am?' asked 
Rhoda. 

* If you cheer mother, or amuse some sick person, 
if you comfort some one by sympathising words, or 
lighten someone's anxiety by writing good news, in 
these ways you can do good, can't you V 

* Oh, yes, ma'am,' said Rhoda ; * only it seems so 
little.' 

* Ah, when shall I cure you girls of using those 



®n letUr^briting. 171 



words ?* answered Mrs. Wykeham. * Have you ever 
heard a saying that " trifles make the sum of human 
life?" Never say any good deed is too little to be 
worth doing, for 

* " Little deeds of kindness, 
Little words of love, 
Make our earth an Eden, 
Like the heaven above.** ' 

' But then, what harm can we do by our letters, 
ma'am ?' asked Jane. 

* Why the same harm that you can do by speak- 
ing, when, for instance, you make mischief by repeating 
gossip about your mistress or your fellow-servants, by 
making unkind remarks, or saying what is not true. 
A friend once said to me, "I am always doubly 
careful what I write ; for what I say may be forgotten, 
but what I put down in black and white is always 
there to bear witness against me if I make a mistake." 
I have often thought of that since, for one never 
knows what may become of one's letters, — they may 
be torn up or put into the fire, and meet no eyes but 
those that they were intended for, or they may be 
put away, and come out long years after, for good or 
for evil, when we have passed away. I used at one 
time to write to the different girls who left our parish 
to go out to service ; and often I have been cheered 
to find how my words had helped them on, when 
they were getting discouraged and out of heart I 
have here a whole bundle of letters,' said Mrs. Wyke- 



172 l^aXy^ouxi b}i^ uip 6trb. 

ham, taking up a packet tied with red tape, ' all from 
girls I know ; here is one that I got only a few days 
ago, she writes : — 

* " I read your letters over every night before I go 
to bed, ma'am, and it seems just as if you were speak- 
ing to me. I can't tell you how it cheers me up, and 
helps me on with my work when I read over your 
words." 

* And why should not your words be as good as 
mine to some people.^* added Mrs. Wykeham. * So, 
you see, letters can do a great deal of good or a great 
deal of harm.' 

* Well, I never should have thought it,' said Kitty ; 
* and I'm sure I'll think next time before I write a 
letter.' 

* Don't put it off all the longer then, Kitty,' said 
Mrs. Wykeham ; * because, as mother doesn't hear 
much now, if you think too long over it, she will 
never hear at all. You see,' continued she, * there is 
not a single thing we do, or think, or say, in our 
everyday life, which may not be turned to a good or 
a bad account ; and that is why I choose any subject 
that comes uppermost, to try and teach you how to 
bring religion into daily life, even into the writing of 
a letter.' 

Then Mrs. Wykeham rose, telling the girls that 
they might leave their books on the window-sills when 
they had written out the lesson. 

Next day, a friend of hers who happened to be 
calling, began to ask her some questions about Thirza. 



®n letter^briting. 173 



* Perhaps you did not know/ she said, * that before she 
came here as pupil-teacher she was under our mistress, 
and the reason we got her transferred to this school 
was that she had struck up a most undesirable ac- 
quaintance with a young man in our village. Her 
parents strongly objected to her having anything to 
say to him, for he was not at all steady; and when she 
left us she promised to have no more to do with him. 
I am sorry to hear, however, that she persists in 
keeping up a correspondence with him, and I am 
afraid if something is not done to stop it, she will 
get into some mischief I thought it right to tell 
you.' 

* I am very glad you did,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; 

* for though I am the last person to interfere usually 
in such matters, yet in the case of a mere child like 
Thirza, one feels bound to act a mother's part towards 
her.' 

That same evening Mrs. Wykeham took the op- 
portunity of speaking very [seriously to Thirza, and 
showing her how wrong it was to disobey her parents, 
by keeping up an underhand correspondence with 
any one of whom they did not approve. 

Thirza cried and seemed very penitent, promising 
Mrs. Wykeham not to write any more letters that she 
would be ashamed to show at home or to let her 
mother know of ' I didn't know it was wrong,* she 
sobbed ; ' I thought if I didn't see him, writing 
wouldn't matter.' 

'Well, you see now that it does matter, don't 



T74 l^alb^onxi M^ mg 6trb. 

you, Thirza ? and you won't forget last Sunday's 
lesson. See, this was what I wrote, — 

' Sunday, August gth. 

' Subject — On Letter-writing. 

* Lesson. — ^Write no letters that you would be 
ashamed to show.' 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

ON REVERENCE. 

Olive was better ; the doctor spoke favourably. 
Mrs. Porter wrote hopefully, and the girls, when they 
heard the news, rushed, as girls will, from the ex- 
treme of despair to the opposite extreme of hope. 

* Olive's going to get well now,' cried Rhoda 
bursting into the nursery with the letter, which Mrs. 
Wykeham had given her to show nurse. 

Nurse, however, shook her head, observing, * We 
must not make too sure ; you girls are always up in 
the attic or down in the cellar.* 

* What do you mean, nurse ? ' asked Rhoda. 

* Why, that when you aren't crying, you're laugh- 
ing. One day Olive isn't going to live a minute, and 
the next she's nearly well. I suspect the truth mostly 
lies between,' added nurse, musingly. 

* Between what, nurse ? ' asked Rhoda. * Between 
the attic and the cellar. I suppose that would be on 
the first floor,' she added, laughing. 

*The truth mostly lies between two extremes,' 
answered nurse, with the gravity of a judge. 

Kitty was, if possible, more carried away by her 
delight at the good news than any one. She danced 



176 l^alU^onxi boit^ uif &ixU. 

about with the pots and pans till cook said that she 
was like the cow that jumped over the moon. 

Kitty, of course, could not resist adding aside to 
Rhoda, * I only wish this dish would run away with 
the spoon : then Td have a splendid chase after them,* 

When the servants came in to prayers, after the 
chapter had been read, they all rose as usual to kneel 
down, when Mrs. Wykeham, from the opposite end 
of the room, heard a subdued titter, followed by a 
little cough that was meant to hide an unmistakable 
giggle. On looking round from where she knelt, she 
saw Kitty's shoulders shaking with suppressed laugh- 
ter. She had long noticed that the girls were not as 
reverent in church as she could have wished, and 
thought that now would be a good time to choose for 
a little talk with them on the subject of * Reverence.' 

* Our subject seems to have chosen itself, Kitty,' 
she said, the following morning, * and this is what it 
will be,' she added, handing her a slip of paper on 
which the word * Reverence ' was written. 

Kitty blushed, and Mrs. Wykeham, seeing that 
she knew what was meant by the silent reproof, 
added no more at the time. 

* What is the meaning of the word " Reverence ? " * 
began Mrs. Wykeham next Sunday, after she had 
answered the usual inquiries about Olive, who was 
much the same. 

* Does it mean honour ? ' asked Thirza. 

* Yes, it means that,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; 
*but something more than that' 

'Respect?' asked Kitty. 



(®n ISitbtvtntt. 177 



* Yes ; but that too is not enough. It means to 
look upon any one or anything with veneration or 
awe. There is an old expression which perhaps you 
may have heard, to " do reverence " to any person, 
which means to bow down before them. Now to 
whom do we owe this reverence and honour?' 

*,To God, and to holy things,' answered Thirza, 
who generally caught up most of the questions, being 
quicker than the^ others in consequence of her school 
training. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * and the question we 
have each to ask ourselves this afternoon is this. Do 
I pay to God, and to all His ordinances, as much 
reverence as I ought ? Tell me some of the ways 
in which we can find out if we do.' 

At this Kitty hung her head, but faltered out, * By 
asking ourselves if we are reverent at our prayers.' 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * by some such ques- 
tion as this : When I kneel down to pray, whether 
alone or with others, do I think what I am doing, 
and whom it is I am going to speak to ? Am I bow- 
ing down my heart and soul as well as my body 
before the Almighty Lord of Heaven and earth, or 
am I like the children of Israel of whom Isaiah wrote, 
" This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their 
heart is far from Me ? " If we bow the knee only 
before God, while our " hearts are far from Him," our 
prayers become only a mockery, for we are taking 
the name of God in vain.' 

As Mrs. Wykeham said this, Kitty looked very 
thoughtful ; but presently she lifted up her head, and 

N 



said, evidently thinking of the evening before, * Please, 
ma'am, how can one help it, when things will come 
into one's head, and make one laugh ? * 

' You must not let them come there, Kitty, at such 
a solemn time ; that is just what I mean. If they 
do, your heart is far from God, for it is following 
after other thoughts. You must drive those thoughts 
out, to make room for Him.' 

* But how can one, ma'am ? * asked Kitty, 

* By saying to yourself some such words as these,' 
answered Mrs. Wykeham : * " Here am I, kneeling 
before the footstool of God Almighty, Lord of heaven 
and earth, and shall I, instead of bowing down my 
soul before Him, not only forget His presence, but 
laugh, as it were, in His very face ?" Surely such a 
thought as that would sober you, would it not ? ' 

* Oh, yes, ma'am,' answered Kitty ; * it sounds so 
shocking. But I never thought of it like that.' 

' No, Kitty ; because you forget where you are, as 
I said just now, and what you are doing,' answered 
Mrs. Wykeham. * It is the same when you go to 
church. You forget whose house it is — forget that 
you are standing, as David says, " at the very gate of 
Heaven." 

'When I see girls looking about them, at other 
peoples' bonnets or hats, for instance ' — here Mrs. 
Wykeham glanced across at Rhoda, who knew very 
well what the look meant — *or when I see them 
evidently much more interested in their next-door 
neighbour than they are in their prayers * — here 
Thirza caught Mrs. Wykeham's eye, and blushed in 



®n HMtttnu. 179 



her turn, knowing that this was meant for her — 
* when I notice these things, or when I see them 
lounging back in the pews instead of kneeling reve- 
rently during the prayers, then I feel inclined to ask, 
Why do you come here at all, if it is for no better 
purpose than this ? ' 

* But, ma'am,' said Selah, * it is so difficult to 
attend all the time.' 

* I know that myself only too well,' answered Mr^, 
Wykeham ; * but shall I tell you the reason ? It is 
because we do not really love God. Supposing any 
one had brought you a message from some one you 
loved very dearly, and who was far away, would you 
not listen eagerly to every word ? would you not long 
to send messages of love in return? would not your 
whole heart go out towards them ? If we really loved 
God, would it not be the same with Him ? Or if you 
were yourself speaking face to face with any one 
very dear to you, would you be contented with 
merely repeating a form of words that some one had 
taught you ? Would not your heart teach you what 
to say i And is it so with our prayers to God ? ' 

* I see,' said Selah, * and it is quite true, I know, 
but how shall we learn to pray from our hearts ?* 

* The more we learn to know God,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham, * the more we shall love Him, and the more 
we love Him the greater will be our reverenced 

Mrs. Wykeham here paused a moment and then 
continued : * But do you think that it is only in our 
prayers that we can show irreverence ?* 

' No, ma'am,' answered Selah. 



i8o l^aiyfyonxi bttf^ m^ 6ixli. 

* In what other way, then, can we be irreverent ?' 
said Mrs. Wykeham. 

' By laughing about things out of the Bible, 
ma'am ?' asked Jane. 

* Yes ; that is to say, that we are sometimes 
tempted to use the words of Holy Scripture in jest, 
or else words that have in themselves a sacred mean- 
ing. For instance, though I do not say that it is 
actually " taking the name of God in vain," yet I do 
say that it always sounds to me irreverent, when I 
hear people use such expressions as " Good heavens !" 
or " Lord, preserve us," or any of the other foolish 
exclamations that we so often hear used without a 
thought as to their true meaning.* 

*Oh, I know, ma'am!* said Jane; 'there was an 
old woman near us at home who used to be always 
crying out, " Lawk a mercy me!" and I never knew 
what it meant till one of our ladies told me, and then 
I never used it again, for I'd caught it up myself,' she 
added, * from always hearing her say it.' 

' Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * that is another ex- 
pression of the same kind, and you must all know 
plenty more, which I need not stop to tell you of 
now. 

* So you see, we must reverence God's house, God's 
word, God's name, and — ^what was the other word I 
used, Kitty.?' 

* God's ordinances, ma'am .?' she asked. 

* Yes ; and what would they be ?' 

* What He had ordered, ma'am,' said Rhoda. 

* Just so,' said Mrs, Wykeham ; * for instance, we 



®n l&eberence. i8i 



must reverence the sacraments, as ordered or ordained 
by Christ Himself : we must reverence His ministers, 
as those whom He has set over us : we must rever- 
ence the Sabbath, as the day that He has set apart 
for Himself; all these are God's ordinances. 

* Very often it is in the mere thoughtlessness of 
youth and high spirits that you may become irreverent 
without intending it, but you must watch and strive 
against it, because it is a habit that will grow upon 
you.' 

* But what can we do, ma'am, when people begin 
laughing and joking with us about things that are 
holy ?' asked Kitty. 

* Be silent,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, * and do not 
laugh or joke in return ; that will generally be a 
better answer than any words that you could 
say. 

* And now I should like you,' she continued, * to 
take your Bibles and find me some different places 
where irreverence is spoken of as a sin or where people 
were punished for being irreverent about holy things, 
for I think that will fix what we have been talking of 
in your minds.' 

* I shall find about Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,' 
said Kitty, turning to Thirza, as Mrs. Wykeham rose 
to go. 

* And I know one, too,' answered Thirza in a low 
voice ; * don't you remember about the men who 
touched the ark .?' 

' Oh, and the wicked boys, and the bear that came 
out of the wood to punish them for mocking at 



i82 l^aXU^onxi btt]^ ui^ &ixU. 

Elisha/ said Rhoda, as they all left the room to- 
gether. 

Mrs. Wykeham looked over the different texts 
they had written in their books that evening, and 
copied the lesson from Thirza's book this time. It 
was as follows : — 

* Sunday, August i6tA, 

• Subject. — On Reverence. 

* Lesson. — ^We must never think or speak lightly 
of holy things.' 



CHAPTER XXV. 

ON HAPPINESS. 

The accounts of Olive were most encouraging. It 
was now just four weeks since the fever had attacked 
her, and no worse symptoms having developed them- 
selves, the doctor hoped soon to pronounce her conva- 
lescent. It was, therefore, with lightened hearts that 
Mrs. Wykeham and the girls met together in her 
room next Sunday to talk over the subject they had 
chosen for her this time. It was about ' Happiness.' 

* You must first explain to me a little,* began Mrs. 
Wykeham, * what you wanted to know about happi- 
ness, and why you chose that subject ?' 

* Because, ma'am,' said Rhoda, * we were won- 
dering why some people always look happy and 
smiling, while others who are no worse off look as 
miserable as possible. Why should one person be 
happier than another when there is nothing to make 
them so ? ' 

' Well, it was a very good thought to come into 
your head,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; ' and I think 
it will be quite worth our while to try and find out ; 
for nothing is pleasanter than to live with people who 
seem always happy and contented, and nothing is 



1 — ■ 

more miserable, both for ourselves and those around 
us, than a grumbling, discontented, I was almost 
going to say, a " whining " disposition.* 

* Oh ! I know, ma'am,' said Kitty, * some people 
make themselves miserable about nothing.' 

* But this kind of unhappy disposition that we 
are speaking of,* continued Mrs. Wykeham, * comes 
sometimes from being in ill health, and sometimes 
from constant trouble, so we must be careful not to 
confuse that in our minds with the unhappiness that 
IS our own fault. You must all of you have known 
people who had good cause for unhappiness.' 

' Oh, yes, ma'am, ' answered Selah ; * there was 
my aunt that was left a widow, with seven children, 
and lost her husband from a dreadful accident. I 
know they say she never smiled again, and I'm sure 
I never heard her laugh.' 

* No doubt,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * trouble had 
crushed her spirit, and her unhappiness we should 
have felt for and pitied ; should we not, rather than 
blamed ? Then, again, you remember that poor little 
deformed boy, James Arkell, who always looked so 
melancholy ; his health was the cause of that, he could 
not, if he had felt inclined to, run about, and shout, 
and play, like other children.' 

* Yes, ma'am,' answered Rhoda, * but we didn't 
mean that kind of unhappiness, for anyone can un- 
derstand that, but the kind of unhappiness that peo- 
ple make for themselves, so to speak. Don't you 
think, they can help it ?' 

* If I were asked the three things that would make 



(Bn liappintM. 185 



a man or woman happy/ answered Mrs. Wykeham, 
* I should say, the love of God, health, and a cheer- 
ful disposition. So we will take each in turn, and 
then consider how much people can help being un- 
happy, as it were, without cause.* 

* Fm not unhappy often,' interrupted Kitty ; * ex- 
cept when Olive is ill, and I hate people to be always 
pulling long faces.' 

* So we all do,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * so 
now let us see how to cure them. 

* What did I say was the first and best cure ?' 

* The love of God,* answered Jane. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham ; * those who love God 
ought to be the only really happy people in the 
world ; for they ought to feel sure that whatever 
happens to them is for the best. If we really and 
truly believed this from the bottom of our hearts, it 
would cure a very great deal of our unhappiness. 
Next ?' 

* Health,' answered Kitty. 

* Yes, we must try and keep ourselves well, for as 
long as we are well and strong, we have no excuse for 
being always "grumbling and growling," as it is 
called, about every little thing ; we needn't make our- 
selves unhappy because it is too hot or too cold, too 
sunny or too windy.' 

* I shouldn't,' said Kitty. 

* No, of course you wouldn't,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham, * because you are one of the strong ones 
by nature. What was my next and last cure ? ' 

* A cheerful disposition,' answered Selah : * but 



i86 IkAU^onti btti^ ms &itU. 

that means what we have by nature, ma'am, doesn't 
it, and if we haven't got it, it isn't our fault' 

* If we have got it, we shall have all the less 
trouble,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; 'but if we haven't, 
we must make it.' 

* But how can we ? ' asked Rhoda. 

* Well, tell me first what a person of a cheerful 
disposition does.' 

* They are happy about things,' answered Rhoda, 
* and make the best of them.' 

* Then can't we all learn to do that ?' asked Mrs. 
Wykeham. * Can't we learn to look out for the bright 
side of things, instead of the dark side ? Supposing 
you were walking down a street, one side of which 
was in shadow, and the other in sunshine ; and sup- 
posing, instead of looking at the sunny side, and 
walking there, you persisted in walking in the shade, 
and turning your head away from the sunshine, say- 
ing, " I see nothing but shadows," wouldn't any one, 
passing by on the sunny side, if he were to hear you, 
answer, " No, of course, because you won't look this 
way ; but you've only to turn your head to see it ?" 
Well, life is like that street, and you may choose 
which side you will, to walk down. I, for my part, 
prefer the sunshine ; and if I see people inclined to 
walk in the shade,' — here Mrs. Wykeham looked 
across at Thirza, who had lately seemed rather in- 
clined to be silent and moody — * I try all I can to 
get them across the road.' 

* But somehow we seem to have said more about 
unhappiness than happiness,* said Selah ; * though, to 



iBn Ikuppintii. 187 



be sure, it was to make us happy that you told us 
of the three cures for 2/;;happiness ; wasn't it, ma'am ? 
But I don't think we. girls are very unhappy ; are 
we ?' she asked, laughing, and added : * I want to see 
the bright side too.' 

* No; I don't think you are, on the whole, in the 
wrong sense of being grumbling and discontented,' 
answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * but I am not sure that 
you have any of you learnt the secret of a calm, 
abiding happiness, for it is one that generally comes 
only in after years. While you are young you are 
apt to be up and down, very happy one day, and 
very unhappy the next' 

* Ah, that is what nurse said only the other day,* 
interposed Rhoda. 

'And I think nurse was right,' answered Mrs. 
Wykeham ; * the true happiness which we should 
strive after is a happiness so calm that none of the 
storms of life can disturb it, and one which, like 
Christ's gift of peace, the world can neither give nor 
take away. The heart that possesses it is at rest, 
because it rests upon the " Rock." * 

* I think Olive was like that,' said Rhoda ; * she 
was never in great spirits, and yet she always seemed 
so happy, nothing ever seemed to put her out.' 

* I can't think why one can't feel like that,' said 
Kitty. 

* To do so, you must live as Olive did,* said Mrs. 
Wykeham, * trying to keep near to Christ' 

As Mrs. Wykeham said these words she looked 
round, fancying she heard a sob behind her, and 



1 88 l^alUi^onti bitfp tim &itU. 

found that Thirza, who was sitting a little apart 
from the others, had got up, and was leaning against 
the mantelpiece, crying. 

Taking no notice of it, she proceeded a little, 
telling the girls a story about a friend of hers, who, 
though always lying on her back with an incurable 
spine complaint, yet was one of the happiest people 
she ever met, ending with the words, * And so young 
girls like you, who have health and strength, with no 
anxieties or cares to weigh you down, ought to be 
like sunshine in a house.' 

As the girls got up to go, Mrs. Wykeham made a 
sign to Thirza to stay behind. 

* Now tell me,' she said, kindly, * what is the 
matter.' 

* I don't know hardly how to,' said Thirza, 
sobbing ; * but your words about being good, if we 
would be happy, made me feel so miserable.' 

* Why, haven't you been good lately.?' said Mrs. 
Wykeham, who partly guessed what was the matter. 

* No, that's just it,' said Thirza, with a sob. * I 
know I don't really love God, and so I don't try 
to do what is right, but only what I like.' 

* And so you are not happy,' continued Mrs. 
Wykeham ; * but tell me what it is that you have 
been doing wrong lately.' 

'Why, you know, ma'am, about writing those 
letters that you spoke [to me about, I promised to 
leave off, and not write to him any more, because 
you said it was going against father and mother ; 
but • 



<@n IkafpintM. 189 



'Well, but what?' said Mrs. Wykeham, who 
wanted to make Thirza's confession as easy as she 
could. * I suppose he over-persuaded you, and 
you've been doing it again, and have been unhappy 
ever since, because you knew you were doing wrong. 
Was that it ?' 

* Yes, ma'am,' said Thirza, * and I don't feel as if 
I should ever be happy again.' 

At this melancholy speech of poor Thirza, Mrs. 
Wykeham couldn't help smiling a little, yet answered 
gently, 'Directly you begin to do what is rig'At, 
instead of what you know to be wrongs Thirza, you 
will find your happiness return ; but you have made 
the mistake we often make, of thinking that having 
our own way will make us happy, whether it is a 
right or a wrong one, whereas "the answer of a good 
conscience before God" is necessary, first of all, to 
our happiness.' 

* But how can I be happy, ma'am } I can't be 
happy if I never hear anything more of— of — ^him,* 
she faltered out ; * and I can't be happy when I'm 
doing what I know is wrong V 

* Do what is right, Thirza, and let God take care 
of your happiness,' answered Mrs. Wykeham. * See, 
this IS what I shall write in your book, and you must 
take it for a happy prophecy as to the future. 

* Sunday J August 23^^/, 

* Subject. — On happiness. 

* Lesson. — Be good, and you will be happy.' 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

ON DEATH. 

' Please, ma'am, how is Olive ? ' began Kitty directly 
she got into the room next Sunday, but checked her- 
self as she saw that Mrs. Wykeham's eyes were red 
with crying, and that she came to meet them with a 
black-edged letter in her hand. 

* My dear girls,' she began, * we need no longer say 
" Olive is ill ;" we must learn to say '" Olive is well," for 
it is well with her — not as we should look at it, but as 
her Heavenly Father sees — well^ for she is with Him.' 

*Not dead! Olive dead!' cried Kitty, bursting 
into tears. * I won't and I can't believe it ; we heard 
only last week she was much better and getting well 
again. Why, I was expecting her back again ever so 
soon. It caft't be true.' 

*Ah, Kitty,' said Mrs. Wykeham, *we all feel 
like that when we hear the news of any great sorrow, 
but we must learn not only to say "Alas, it is true !" 
but, "God's will be done," for He doeth all things well.' 

Jane and Kitty were sobbing bitterly, but when 
Mrs. Wykeham turned to speak to Rhoda, she saw 
her standing by the window, white and tearless, and 
looking as if turned to stone. * It can't be true,' she. 



<9n 9eat]^. 191 

too, repeated slowly, *why she has got all her life 
before her ; and only a few weeks ago she was about 
among us all, as well as ever, doing her work just 
like one of us. It can't be. Oh, Olive !* and as 
she uttered her name, suddenly the whole truth 
seemed to burst upon her, and falling on her knees 
she hid her face in her hands in a paroxysm of 
grief. 

Mrs. Wykeham could see her whole frame shaking 
with sobs and her efforts to control them, and going 
up to her, she laid her hand softly on i^her shoulder, 
repeating as she did so, * And ye shall know that I 
the Lord have done it.' Seeing that her words pro- 
duced no effect, she turned to Selah and Thirza, who 
were standing whispering together at the farther end 
of the room, and said to them, * You may both go 
out for a walk by yourselves this afternoon, and I and 
the others who knew Olive will stay and have a little 
talk together.' 

. When they had left the room, she waited a few 
minutes till Rhoda's sobs grew less, and Kitty and 
Jane were a little quieter, and then calling them to 
her, she sat down on the sofa by the side of Rhoda, who 
was still on her knees with her face buried in her 
hands., * Would you like to hear the letter I have just 
got from Mrs. Porter ?' she asked. 

*Oh, yes, ma'am,' said Kitty and Jane, wiping 
their eyes, and Rhoda got up slowly from her knees 
and took a seat a little behind Mrs. Wykeham, where 
she thought she would not be so much noticed. The 
letter ran as follows : — 



192 Aal{^]^iiurtf iDtti) mo &ixU. 



* Bramfield, 

* Saturday, August 2<)th. 

* Dear Mrs. Wykeham, 

* I have a very sad task to perform as I 
sit down to-day to write to you, for I have bad news 
to tell. You remember that last week the doctor 
thought that Olive had taken a decided turn for the 
better, as she had passed not only the seventeenth 
but the twentieth day, which is also a critical one, and 
her strength did not seem to have decreased. How- 
ever, when he came at the matron's request on Friday 
evening, he found that not only was there a return of 
the former alarming weakness, but that the disease 
seemed to have attacked her lungs, from the exceed- 
ing shortness of breath. This was what he had feared 
all along, as her chest was already affected when she 
came home. He had told me a few days before that 
a relapse must prove fatal ; so from this time we gave 
up all hope of saving her. 

* All that night she lay at death's door, and we 
thought that every moment would be her last : how- 
ever, she lingered on, scarcely conscious, till this 
morning ; and then just in the early dawn when the 
first faint streaks of light were appearing in the 
eastern sky, she sighed a long, restful sigh, as of a 
tired child just dropping off to sleep, and that — ^was 
the last we knew about Olive. 

* Her poor mother was by her bedside, as well as 
myself, and I think it went to her heart most of all, 
that Olive had not been able to speak to her, or even 
to know her, at the last. How often is it so, and the 



®n Stat^. 193 



words that would have been treasured up — the " good- 
bye " that we long to have heard, is kept from us.* 

As Mrs. Wykeham read these words her voice 
faltered, and for a few minutes nothing was heard in 
the room, but the sobbing of the three girls, in which 
she found herself compelled to join. Struggling to 
regain her composure, she went on : 

* This is all of the letter that I need read to you ; 
but before you go, I should like to have a little talk 
about death, about which Olive now knows all, and 
about which we who are left behind, know so little. 
Try and place yourself, each one in thought, on a 
dying bed. Ask yourself, "Am I ready to die as 
Olive was ? Am I ready to lay down this busy life, 
to leave off all I am doing, at a few days — it may be 
a moment's notice, and go to meet my God." Ah, 
girls, it is a very solemn thought, — a very solemn 
question ! Would not the true answer be too often, 
" No, I am not ready ; I have scarcely even thought 
about It, and I have not prepared myself to go," 

* Death is a subject, from the thought of which 
we all, more or less, shrink, and especially you who 
are young and strong. You do not like to think 
about it, you do not like to talk about it ; but to 
every one of us it must come sooner or later. 

* We are all apt to think, ** Oh, we may be taken 
in a few years, but not just yet ;" and so we put off 
thinking about it, till one day we are startled to 
find that the words, "There is no hope," are true 
of us, too, at last. But the words, if we are Christ's 

O 



194 Aaltrj^Ottnf tott]^ n^ &itU. 

children, should not be words of terror to us ; we 
need not cling so wildly to the hope of earthly life> 
if we have the hope oietemalYii^ before us. The fear 
of death is a fear that grows less as we look steadily 
at it Is it the pain of dying that we are afraid of ? 
I think most people suffer much more in their lives 
than they do at their deaths. Is it the terror of 
going, we know not whither ? Wherever we go, Christ 
has gone before, and His rod and staff will hold us 
up through the dark valley. No, to Christ's children 
the sting of death, and its terror, is taken away, for 
to them it is only the beginning of a new life. 

* If we are not His children, then death must, 
indeed, be a terrible thought to us, for we are going 
to meet our Judge.' 

Mrs. Wykeham paused for a few minutes, and 
Rhoda looked up, and asked rather hesitatingly, — 

* Did Olive seem afraid to die ?' 

* No,* said Mrs. Wykeham ; * her mother said she 
used often to speak about it as if it was quite a 
natural thing that she should die before long ; she 
was always delicate as a child, and perhaps that 
partly gave her the feeling. I remember her mother 
used to say to me, " There, ma'am, she's sure to be 
taken young ; she's too good, to live." I always 
answered, that I thought it was quite a mistake to 
think that anyone could be too good to live, or that 
all the good ones were taken, for what would become 
of the world if none but the bad ones were left ? But 
I told her what I do believe, which is this, that we are 
each of us taken in our full season^ namely, when 



<9n StA^. 195 



God sees that our life, either for good or for evil, is 
completed. When that is, God alone can tell/ 

* Fm sure Tm not good enough to die,' said 
Kitty. 

* So many people say, Kitty, and make that an 
excuse for putting off the thought of death ; but as 
our times are in God's hands, what we have to 
learn from th^ thought of death is, to live so as to 
prepare for it.' 

* How can we do that, ma'am ?' asked Rhoda. 

* I think I can best give you an answer, by 
telling you a little story of an old man I once knew. 
I was asking him if he would be afraid if the judg- 
ment-day were suddenly to come. " No ! I don't 
think so," he answered. " Tell me why," I asked. 
" Do you think that you would be ready at any 
moment to answer the Master's call ?" " Yes, I 
think so," he said, "and I'll tell you why. I don't 
feel that if I knew He was coming to-morrow, I 
should much alter my way of living to-day. I tries 
all I know to keep close to Christ as it is, and I 
think that's the best way to be ready for Him." 
And now we must not talk any more to-day, though 
I should like you to think a little more when you 
are alone of what I have been saying to you. Then 
dear Olive's death will teach you a lesson that you 
will never forget, and the thought of her who is gone 
before will point you the way to Heaven.' 

Mrs. Wykeham next day gave each of the girls 
a little card, on which she wrote the date of Olive's 



196 italU^nuvi hit^ mv 6ixU. 

death, her name and age, surrounded by a wreath of 
snowdrops ; on the other side was written, — 

* Sunday, August 30///. 

'Subject. — On Death. 

* Lesson. — ^To live each day as if our last.' 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

ON THE MEANS OF GRACE. 

* Do you know, girls/ said Mrs. Wykeham, the next 
Sunday, * that it is just six months ago that we began 
our talks together V 

* Oh, is it, ma'am ?' said Kitty ; * I never should 
have thought it ; it seems no time back.' 

* Yes,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * and I am sorry 
to say that this will be our last for some time to 
come, for I am unexpectedly called away from home 
for some weeks, and I cannot be sure about continuing 
them when I come back.' 

* Oh, dear ! I shall be so sorry,' exclaimed Kitty. 

* And so shall I,' cried Thirza ; * for I don't know 
how ever I am to keep good, ma'am, if you are not 
here to help me.' 

Mrs. Wykeham knew in her own mind, that Thirza 
was thinking of their conversation a few Sundays ago, 
but she only answered, * I shall be very glad to think 
that these Sunday talks of ours have been any help to 
you, girls ; but, after all, my help can be of very little 
use to you. To whom must you look for the true 
help and strength ?' 

* To God,' answered Thirza, slowly ; * but ' 



1 93 Aalf^ount lotti^ ntj) 6ixU. 

* Well, but what ?' asked Mrs. Wykeham. 

* I was going to say how will God help us, ma'am, 
but I ought to know/ 

* Do you remember the collect, Thirza, which says 
that God " doth put into our minds good desires," and 
will enable us to "bring the same to good effect?" 
That is the way in which He will help us ; but then 
we must help ourselves as well, we must not drive out 
those " good desires," or take no pains to bring them 
to " good effect." We must listen to the voice of His 
Holy Spirit, and use what are called the " means of 
grace " which He gives us. Can you tell me of some, 
Jane ? you so seldom give me an answer.' 

* Going to church, ma'am ; is that one ?* asked 
Jane. 

* Yes, if when in church we worship God " in spirit 
and in truth," ' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * not if we 
go to stare about us, and forget where we are. Now 
can you tell me of another, Kitty?' 

* By praying every day, ma'am,' she answered. 

* Yes, " private prayer," as we should call it, to 
distinguish it from the means of grace that Jane 
spoke of, namely, "public prayer." These are both 
great helps to living a Christian life ; without prayer 
our souls could not flourish, and we should have no 
strength to do aright. But are these the only helps 
God has given us .?' 

* He has given us the Bible to read, that is a help, 
ma'am ; isn't it ?' asked Rhoda. 

* Yes, a very great one,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, 
' and one which is too much neglected. Even one 



(&n ti)e i&tsini ol 6race. .199 



verse only of the Bible, read daily, would be a help to 
you, if you would stop a moment to think over its 
meaning.' 

* One gets so used to the words, somehow, ma'am,' 
said Thirza ; * they seem to slip through one's mind.' 

* Yes, I know what you mean, Thirza, and it is a 
trouble that is a very common one. It would be a 
very good thing, I think, if when you read your one 
verse through, morning and evening, you were to get 
into the habit of putting it in other words, something 
like explaining it to yourself ; and if you found you 
could not explain it, perhaps, at least, it would make 
you think more of what its meaning might be.' 

* I don't think I quite know how you mean, 
ma'am,' said Jane, looking up ; * will you give us a 
text to show how we ought to do it ?' 

*Very well,' said Mrs. Wykeham, taking up her 
Bible ; * I will take any verse that comes first See 
here, I have opened upon the fourth chapter of 
Philippians, and the fourth verse, "Rejoice in the 
Lord always." Try and put that into other words, 
Jane.' 

*That we ought to be glad and happy?' asked 
Jane. 

* Yes,' said Mrs. Wykeham, * but that isn't all it 
tells us. Why does it say, " in the Lord ?" * 

At first the girls did not seem able to find any 
other words for that part of the text, till at last 
Thirza said, * Doesn't it mean that religion should 
make us joyful ?' 

* Yes,' answered Mrs. Wykeham ; * that is not at 



200 itaWt^nuxi ioit^ mj9 &itU. 

all a bad way of giving the meaning of the text. In 
other words, it bids us, I think, rejoice with a holy 
and a sanctified joy. You have only to think of any 
sermon that you may have heard, to know how much 
may be found in each text of the Bible, and how 
much we may learn from it if we try. You see the 
good that we get from each of the means of grace 
that God has given us depends on what use we make 
of it But there is one which you have not found 
out yet, one of the greatest, and one which I have 
been sorry to see you have not made use of as much 
as you should.' 

*Do you mean the Holy Communion, ma'am?' 
asked Rhoda, who was in the habit of going with 
Olive pretty regularly as long as she had been there, 
but who had not been so often lately. 

* Yes, I do,* answered Mrs. Wykeham. ' Can you 
give me any reason why some of you' — Mrs. Wykeham 
here looked across to where Kitty and Selah were 
sitting by the side of Jane — 'should make use so very 
seldom, if ever, of this most precious means of grace ?' 

Kitty looked down and blushed, but answered, 
* Please, ma'am, one doesn't seem good enough.' 

* Ah ! Kitty, that is one of Satan's favourite 
devices, to put that thought into people's minds. He 
whispers to you, " You are not good enough yet, wait 
till you are more fit to go. You would only be pre- 
tending to be holier than other people, whereas you 
are no better than your neighbours." Do you know 
what the whispers of the Holy Spirit would be : * Go 
and get strength to be better ; if you turn away from 



®n tl)e ffltnni of 6vatt. 201 

the means of grace, how can you expect to ''grow in 
grace ?" It would be just like a sick man, who, turn- 
ing away from the medicine ordered him, should say, 
" No ! ril wait to take that till I get better." Or like 
a friend of mine whom I was nursing the other day, 
when pressed to take some food, answered, " No, I 
feel too faint and weak to take it." " He must be 
made to," said the doctor ; " he is just sinking for 
want of nourishment." ' 

' I didn't think of it like that,' said Kitty. 

* Was that your reason, too, for not staying to the 
Holy Communion, Selah } and yours, Jane V asked 
Mrs. Wykeham. * I have often thought of asking 
you, but hoped that you would have thought of it 
yourselves, without my urging it upon you.' 

* I went a few times after I was confirmed,' said 
Selah ; * and then I left it off.' 

* And so did I,' said Jane. 
'Then why did you leave off?* 

* I don't know,' said Selah. 

* Because I was laughed at about setting myself 
up for a saint,' said Jane. 

* The one for no reason then, and the other for a 
bad reason. Will you not think the matter over 
again, then, all of you ; that those who go may do 
so more regularly, more humbly, more prayerfully, and 
those who do not go, may henceforth obey the loving 
call of One who loves us with an everlasting love V 

* Olive always went,' said Rhoda, presently, in a 
trembling voice ; and added, * I can't bear, somehow, 
to go without her now.' 



202 fkM^^onxH btt]^ m^ &ivU. 



*We must not let any earthly love or sorrow 
interfere, Rhoda, with the love divine/ answered 
Mrs. Wykeham. * Rather when you go, you should 
feel yourselves the nearer to her, who is now in 
heaven. You remember what the Creed says, " I 
believe in the communion of saints ;" and surely at 
no time is that communion closer than when in 
Communion with our common Lord.* 

Mrs. Wykeham, seeing that Rhoda's eyes were 
full of tears, and that she could bear no more on the 
subject just at that moment, said, turning to Thirza, 
* So you see that my help is very feeble, compared to 
the help held out to you by God.* 

* Yes, I see,* said Thirza ; * but sometimes it is so 
difficult to know what is right, and it is a help to 
have someone to talk to about things.* 

* Human friends,* answered Mrs. Wykeham, * may 
indeed help you by their sympathy and advice ; but 
even on them you must not lean too much. I have 
often been in such perplexity myself, that no help of 
any human friend could have satisfied me ; and then 
I always used to fall back upon a text in Isa. xxx. 
which says, "Thine ears shall hear a voice behind 
thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye 
turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" 
Surely no promise of guidance could be more plain 
than this ; but then, as I said before, we must listen 
for the voice, and obey it, then we shall not only 
thank God for His " means of grace *' here, but for 
the " hopes of glory ** hereafter.* 

* Oh, dear ! our last lesson,* said Kitty, sorrow- 



®n tl)e ^tatm of drace. 203 

fully, handing up her book a few minutes later. * We 
must try and remember this one most of all, mustn't 
we ? Will this do ?* she added. 

* Yes, very well,' answered Mrs. Wykeham, as she 
read, 

* Sunday y September 6th, 

* Subject. — On the means of grace. 

^ Lesson. — ^We must use the means of grace here, if 
we would attain to the glory hereafter.' 



CONCLUSION. 

Mrs. Wykeham was gone, and without Olive, too, 
the house seemed quite deserted ; but the girls, 
remembering her words, used to try and * live them 
out,' as Kitty used to call it. *What would Mrs. 
Wykeham say ?' became a very frequent remark ; and 

* I wonder if we shall ever have any Sunday talks 
with her again,' was often repeated, as the girls drew 
together on Sunday afternoons to read or chat 
between the services. 

* I don't despair,' said Kitty ; * because sooner or 
later she must come back' again to us, and Fm sure 
we shall find plenty then to talk about.' 

* I wish we could remember all she told us,* said 
Rhoda ; * but one subject seemed to put the other out 
of one's head.' 

* I wonder if she wrote it all down,' said Selah ; 

* we might ask to have it to read over if she did.* 

* I used to see her writing by the hour, sometimes,' 
remarked Rhoda ; * and once I saw some printing on 
her writing-table. It was only a leaf, but I'm 
almost sure it was the name of a book. I shouldn't 
wonder ' 

But what Rhoda's suspicions were didn't transpire^ 
for at that moment they were all called off to tea. 



Conclui^uin. 205 



Next morning, the postman handed out of his 
bag, one by one, five mysterious-looking parcels, all 
alike, wrapped up in brown paper, and directed in a 
well-known handwriting to each of the girls. 

* Come down quick, Rhoda,' shouted Kitty at the 
top of her voice ; * here's something come for each 
one of us, and Fm sure it's in Mrs. Wykeham's 
handwriting.* 

* Well, I never!* exclaimed Rhoda, as having cut 
the string and unfolded the brown paper, a neatly- 
bound book met her gaze, Half-hoicrs with my Girls, 

* There, now, didn't I say so V 

* No, that you didn't,* said Kitty ; * but we can't 
forget now, can we ?' 

And that was how it all came about. 



Bp tl^e 0ame Sltit^nv. 



FRIENDLY WORDS FOR OUR GIRLS. 

7th Thousand. Square fcap. 8vo. limp cloth, is. 6d. -; paper, is, 

' Is adi^pted, and its seems to us with great fitness, to the spiritual wants of 
young girb of the humbler class — milliners, factory-girls, domestic servants^ 
and so on. Prayers to use on suitable occasions, hymns to read over, and 
brief paragraphs of wise and kind advice, it provides for this particular class. 
Thoroughly practical.' — Literary Churchman, 

LAYS FOR THE LITTLE ONES. 

48mo. cloth, i^. ; sewed, (id. 

' These sweet little poems are admirably adapted for young children* and 
will, we think, lose nothing by a comparison with Taylor's " Hymns for 
Infant Minds.'" — Mothers* Treasury. 



By ROSALIND MARRY AT. 

WIVES AND MOTHERS; 

Or, Readings for Mothers' Meetings. 
First Series. Square fcap. Svo. cloth, y, 6d, 
Second Series. Square fcap. Svo. cloth, y. 6d, 

'Very practical. Divided into a wife's duties, trials, temptations, and 
helps, with some cheerful words of good advice on each.' — Guardian, 

STEPS TO CHRISTIAN MANHOOD; 

Or, Daily Words for Our Boys. 

Just published. Square fcap. Svo. limp cloth, is, 6d, ; paper cover, ts. 



HATCHARDS, 187 PICCADILLY, LONDON. 



HATCffARDS' PUBUCATIONS. 



By M. E. TOTATNSEND, 

Editor of ' Friendly Leaves ' Magazine. 



1. THE MAIDENS OF SCRIPTURE. 

Just published^ in i6mo. cloth, zf. td. ; paper cover, is. 



2. LINKS OF GOLD; 

Or, Thoughts on the Prayers of the Bible. 
Square crown 8vo. limp cloth, \s, 6d. 

' A most attractive little volume, and a good aid to devotion.' 

Christian Observer, 

* A lively and useful commentary.' — Church Bells. 

' An excellent work, thoroughly evangelical, and admirably compiled.' 

Churchman's Pent^ Magai 

* The first part of this volume consists of an interesting and thoughtful treatise 
on the prayers contained in Holy Scripture ; or perhaps it might be described as 
a summary of sacred biography as illustrated by the prayers of the saints, and 

those of the King of Saints Himself, while He tabernaclea among men 

Very far superior to the ordinary " manuals of devotion " which abound in these 
days.' — Record, 



Dedicated to Our Working Men, Women, and Children. 

3. HEART AND HOME SONGS. Original and Selected. 

Bijou Edition. Fcap. 8vo. cloth gilt, 3^. (d. ; leather, ts, 6d, to azx. 
Cheap Edition for Working People. Fcap. 8vo. limp, is. 6d, 

List of Subjects, and Number of Poems in each. 

Soni^ of Love and Home, 53— Son|^ for the Children, 33— Sacred Song^, 
a&— Working Songs, 56— Songs of Town and Country, 10 — Flower 
Songs, 33— Sea and Boat Songs, x6— Emigrant Songs, 7— Songs of 
War, 8— National Songs, 14— Ballads, Heroic and Domestic, x8. 

EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS. 

* A capita^ book. . . . .Thoroughly wholesome.' — Church Bells, 

* A selection, copious yet choice, containing poems, old and new, of a simple 
and practical kind for reading at hotnt*— Guardian, 

* An excellent selection.'— /(j»A« Bull. 

* One of the nicest collections of songs.' — Bazaar. 

* An admirable book for use at Penny Readings.' — Homilist. 

* Welcome especially to the sons and daughters of toil.' — Hand and Heart, 

' A book of the right kind. Will bring bnghtness to many an English home.' 

Fireside. 

HA.TOHABDS, 187 PIOCADILLY, LONDON. 



HATCHAKDS" PUBLICATIONS, 



READINGS FOR MOTHERS' MEETINGS, &c. 



1. THOUGHTS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER. 

By Mrs. Goodwin Hatchard, 

Author of * Eight Years' Experience of Mothers' Meetings,' &c. 

Just published, in square fcap. 8vo. cloth,.3f. 6d. 

2. MOTHERS OF SCRIPTURE. 

By Mrs. Goodwin Hatchard, 

Author of ' Prayers for Children,* &c Square fcap. 8vo. 25. 6d. 

Also the Introduction to above, separately as a Pamphlet, paper cover, 6d, 

' Mothers' Meetings, and How to Organize them.' 

Ought to be in the hands of every lady who conducts them.' 

Christian Observer, 

3. SHORT WORDS FOR LONG EVENINGS. 

By E. Wordsworth. 

Large-type Edition. Square fcap. 8vo. cloth extra, ax. 6d. 
Cheap Edition, sth Thousand. iBmo. small type^ cloth extra^ is. 6d. 
* A remarkable book, simply expressed.' — Guardian. 

4. THOUGHTS FOR THE CHIMNEY-CORNER. 

By E. Wordsworth. {Large-type Edition out of prints 

Cheap Edition. 7th Thousand. i8mo. small type, cloth extra, xs. 6d. 

* One of the most delightful books we have come across.*— fohn Bull. 

6. PLAIN AND PLEASANT WORDS. 

By Author of * Old Peter Pious,' &c. Square fcap. 8vo. cloth, a*. 6d. 

* Wise and good words ; and are well calculated to be useful.' 

Mothers* Treasury. 

6. FIFTY-TWO ADDRESSES FOR MOTHERS' MEETINGS. 

By Mrs. C. Stuart Perry. Preface by Bishop Perry. 
i8mo. cloth, M. 6</. 

' Useful, not for reading aloud, but studying before giving an address.' 

Guardian, 

7. THE CHRISTIAN MOTHER. 

By the late Mrs. E. Hoare, Tunbridge Wells, and Edition. i6mo. cloth, xs. 

* This choice little book— decidedly the best of its Moi'^.*— Record. 

8. PRAYERS FOR MOTHERS' MEETINGS. 

By Mrs. Goodwin Hatchard. 

Just published. x6mo. cloth, \s. 6d. ; paper cover, xs, 

* Short, simple, and earnest ; they cannot fail to prove of great value to 
those engaged in conducting such meetings.' — Rock. 



HATOHABDS, 187 PICCADILLY, LONDON. 



\